Ravinder Maurya

Cheif Technology Strategist, RedHat

The definition of open source is not clearly understood. People often confuse open source with just the software or source code, which is correct in a narrow sense. But a bigger perspective is required to appreciate its true meaning. Open source is not limited to software technology, it is the culture of knowledge sharing and collaboration and applies equally to all fields.
The government needs to broaden its perspective on open source to appreciate its true value and should adopt measures at policy level to propel the use of this powerful model. At minimum, the government can make open source software as the first preference for its e-governance initiatives. The government follows a mandate to facilitate fair competition by asking the consultants to keep system specifications vendor-neutral for its projects. But in practice, due to various reasons, the specifications are not vendor-neutral, eventually the system so developed lands in a state of vendor lock-in, and either the government is forced to live with the vendor who developed it or throw the system out and redevelop it as the requirements evolve and system demands enhancements. This is sheer waste of money, given that the IT industry has already recognised the agile and evolving nature of software systems, why would you get into this use and throw model when software has no wear and tear!
Many countries have created policies to enforce adoption of open source software; state governments, like the government of Kerala, have brought in guidelines to promote open source software. They want open source to percolate down the hierarchy. It cannot be done unless we have experts who fully understand the potential of open source model. If you want to adopt open source software at a country- or state-level, you need to have a strategy as to how you can bring that in.
The subscription model that gives the economic backbone to open source software plays a crucial role in assuring accountability of open source solutions and their long-term viability.

Open Source means open governance system


Other Speakers

  • Sudhir Gandotra
  • Sudhir Aggarwal
  • Ravinder Maurya
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  • BK Sahu

Video of Open Source: Collaborating to create and prosper





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