Department of Defense Dallies with Open Source

October 31, 2009

The DoD is a SharePoint bastion. Don’t get me started on the cost, complexity, and confusion that swirls around some SharePoint solutions. Check out “DoD: Military Needs to Think Harder about Using Open Source.” Either Google is a lucky beast or someone in the DoD is focused on giving Microsoft indigestion. For me, the most interesting comment in the write up was:

"The continuous and broad peer-review enabled by publicly available source code supports software reliability and security efforts through the identification and elimination of defects that might otherwise go unrecognized by a more limited core development team," the document says. "The unrestricted ability to modify software source code enables the Department to respond more rapidly to changing situations, missions, and future threats."

How far will the DoD open source push go? My hunch is that progress will be impeded by incumbent software vendors. The Google will be patient in my opinion. Cost control is a looming issue in these tough economic times.

Stephen Arnold, October 31, 2009

A colonel got me a  Diet Coke on a Southwest flight not long ago. Disclosure, dear FDA, disclosure.


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