Wednesday, 25 February 2009

UK Government Action Plan builds on Open Source and Open Standards

The UK Government has published its action plan in the ICT domain. It fully acknowledges the benefits of open source and open standards. On the governments website announcing the action plan the high value of community work for innovation is outlined:
"Open Source has been one of the most significant cultural developments in IT and beyond over the last two decades: it has shown that individuals, working together over the Internet, can create products that rival and sometimes beat those of giant corporations; it has shown how giant corporations themselves, and Governments, can become more innovative, more agile and more cost-effective by building on the fruits of community work; and from its IT base the Open Source movement has given leadership to new thinking about intellectual property rights and the availability of information for re–use by others."
This provides the base for the UK government's open standards and open source strategy:
"we consider that the time is now right to build on our record of fairness and achievement and to take further positive action to ensure that Open Source products are fully and fairly considered throughout government IT; to ensure that we specify our requirements and publish our data in terms of Open Standards; and that we seek the same degree of flexibility in our commercial relationships with proprietary software suppliers as are inherent in the open source world."
The concept of openness with all its benefits is increasingly being valued and incorporated into policies and strategies. More and more companies are transforming so that they are better positioned to compete in the new world where openness, open source and open standards play a key role for ICT. Getting ready for acting within new circumstances and for developing a new equilibrium between open and proprietary is a major element for increasing competitiveness.

The full UK government strategy is available in form of the open standard pdf from the UK government's website.

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