Indian government software applications are all set to save millions of dollars by moving away from proprietary system and shifting to open source. This will also result in the boosting of pace at which such programmes are being developed.
The Indian government is in the midst of developing a policy that will call for the usage of open source software as part of the government’s Digital India initiative. Government’s future plans also include developing a Github like repository of software that can be created collaboratively.
“We don’t want to make it a question of ideology but wherever possible, we want to make use of open source”, said RS Sharma, secretary, department of electronics and Information Technology in a statement to Economic Times. He further added, “We are also preparing something like SourceForge, where we will open up the source code of all the existing software and crowd source development like on Github”.
SourceForge and Github are among the most famous repositories for software codes on the internet that can be revised and shared by many people.
This step by the government will help in boosting e-governance. It will also help in increasing savings as these applications and codes can be used again and again. According to Gartner, the Indian government will spend around $6.4 billion on IT products and services in the year 2014. The advantage of this step taken by the government is that every consulting firm will not have to re-invent the software again and again. The policy under construction has an aim of speeding up the development process by deploying e-governance projects across various sectors of the government.
“Open source has offered us the best way out of vendor lock-in and unpredictable financial commitments” said Jay Pullur, founder and CEO, Pramati Technologies in a statement to Economic Times.
The repository will work towards avoiding the duplication of solutions and applications to a large extent. For example, if a state wants to adopt a particular application, all it has to do now is go to the repository and customize it.
According to Venkatesh Hariharan, director of Alchemy Business Solutions LLP, “The open code policy will ensure faster deployment of IT projects, speeding up the pace of innovation and reducing failure rate of projects”.