Open Source, Open CTO, Open Government
By identity on Jan 29, 2009
"It's intuitively obvious open source is more cost effective and productive than proprietary software. Open source does not require you to pay a penny to Microsoft or IBM or Oracle or any proprietary vendor any money."
It will be interesting to read Scott's paper when it become available. I would be delighted to find that our government would adopt practices that actually saved our precious tax money.
I also applaud Scott's comments about a suggested new cabinet-level post of Chief Technology Officer. He said that new CTO should:
"Have veto power, the right to eliminate any hardware, software or networking product that touches the federal network. He or she would have real power, real oversight and employ real consequences for folk that don't realign with the architecture. It's what every business does that the government doesn't."
If such a CTO were appointed to lead the implementation of President Obama's "open" technology policy, we could call him or her the "Open CTO."
We at Sun often talk about how leading companies use information technology as a strategic weapon to gain competitive advantage. President Obama certainly demonstrated the effectiveness of web technology as a competive weapon in his campaign.
I think we should consider information technology to be a weapon for the American people to improve government. It can help slash through the impermeable curtains of back-room dealmaking and obfuscating "spin" wherein political insiders try to deceive the public as they push their own agendas. For example, having access on the web to emerging details of the "stimulus package" enabled each of us to evaluate its worth on its actual merits, rather than having selected information sifted through levels of political commentary before it reached us.
Information technology can make government more accessible, transparent and responsive for us citizens whom the government is supposed to serve. Open source and and "Open CTO" could be two effective arrows in our arsenal to return the power government to the hands of the people.