Saving on software licences is one of the main advantages of the use of open source, concludes Cenatic, Spain's resource centre on open source, after studying sixteen implementations of such software by Spanish public administrations.
"In all the case studies, these savings are highlighted as one of the main advantages", writes Cenatic in its report 'Open Source Software for the Development of the Spanish Public Administration', published on 5 December. It is an English translation of a report originally published on 21 September.
The administrations see three more main advantages. Using open source makes the public administrations independent of providers and gives them the possibility to create a community around a project. This is noted in half of all the case studies. Using open source moreover allows the public organisations to adapt applications to specific requirements. This is a determining factor for 60 percent of the public administrations, Cenatic concludes.
"Open source may become a model for collaboration between public administrations on any scale, local, regional, national or international", writes Cenatic. After reviewing the sixteen implementations for example by several autonomous regions such as Andalusia and Castilla La Mancha and the Ministry of Public Administrations, Cenatic recommends that public administrations educate their staff on the legal, economic and sociological aspects of open source.
Such training should explain how local companies and citizens can benefit and become involved in developing open source applications, and how public administrations can publish their own software. "Comprehensive training on this is one of the decisive factors of success when migrating to open source."
Cenatic report (in English, pdf)
Cenatic report (in Spanish, pdf)