The Swedish National Police Board (SNPB) estimates to save about 20 million euro in the next five years by switching to open source application servers, open source database servers and standard computer server hardware, according to a case study published by the Open Source Observatory and Repository.
"We must have an IT architecture which is not locked to a special vendor", the case study quotes Per-Ola Sjöswärd.
The savings is one of three advantages that the police force says it will achieve with the move, the other two being limitation of the vendor lock-in and the use of open standards.
The police decided in 2007 to switch to open source application servers and database servers.
The OSOR case study cites a SNPB presentation showing that the cost for the application server amount to only one fifth of the previous solutions, and the cost for the database only one seventh of the price of the proprietary solution. "The Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) of using open source vendors instead of proprietary vendors has thus been reduced substantially."
The software and hardware migration only involves servers in the police data centres. For police officers across the country everything on their desktop PCs remained the same, and new applications were not introduced.
Not just the Swedish police
The OSOR case study is the second involving a EU member state's police force switching to open source. Earlier this year, OSOR published a report on the Gendarmerie Nationale, France's national police force, which is moving to a complete open source IT environment, including the desktop. The Gendarmerie says this move helped save millions of euro and allowed it to reduce its IT budget by 70 percent. In the Netherlands, the Dutch police forces are currently testing the use of thin clients running Debian to access proprietary desktop applications.