Thursday, November 5, 2009

Government embrace of open source: the times they are a changin’

Substantial advancements are underway proving that open source software, at every level of the stack, is becoming mainstream in the U.S. Federal Government. Speaking at this week’s GOSCON Conference in Washington, the acting DoD CIO, David Wennergren, spoke about the new departmental understanding that open source software which manifests in commercial form is legitimate and should be considered for use.

I’m religious about efficiency and effectiveness in government, believing that strong democracies are built and reinforced through successful capitalism, which (in turn) is hindered when government is allowed to become bloated and expensive. In this sense, the government’s use of open source is necessary.

Further, I’ve previously emphasized how the government’s use of open source can act as a lighthouse of credibility that influences not only all of the public sector but spills into the private sector as well. I highlighted this while praising the choice of Vivek Kundra as the new Federal CIO and now have more first-hand evidence as I’ve spent even more time with government-focused partners and customers.

At Jaspersoft, we’re betting with our time and energy as we’ve enthusiastically joined both Open Source for America and, most recently, the Open Source Software Institute. Our belief is that profound change will come to the public sector partially due to new efficiency brought by technology.

I’m proud that Jaspersoft is at the heart of a new Business Process Management-driven BI application, developed by HandySoft, that delivers sophisticated business intelligence for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. This is a system that saves time and delivers vital intelligence information to a large audience simply and powerfully, winning Gartner’s 2009 Innovation Award in the process. NRC adds to our already impressive roster of Government customers like NASA, the DoD, and NIH, giving us all hope that fewer tax dollars are being spent to deliver superior analysis and insight, and ultimately better decisions.

I invite you to follow Jaspersoft’s progress in helping to create more efficient government, at our new government-focused web page. This is our part in the return to a government of the people, by the people, and for the people . . . also known as “community”, which is what open source is all about.

Brian Gentile

Chief Executive Officer


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