By switching to free and open source, the government of the Canary Islands in Spain continues to reduce its ICT costs. The government has already lowered the costs for server and workstation operating systems and other software solutions by 25.4 per cent, reports Roberto Moreno, director of the archipelago's Department for Telecom and New Technologies, and further cost reductions are expected. "The costs went down from 1,006,500 euro per year down to 750,000 euro per year."
Speaking to La Provincia, a newspaper for the autonomous region, the IT Director on Wednesday announced the next moves to open source alternatives.
The IT department has recently approved OpenOffice as one of the possible solutions for the islands' public administrations. "The next step will be to replace the current office suite by a free software alternative", La Provincia reports. "To do this, new office solutions must be installed on some 30,000 workstations.
Open source cluster
In 2013 the archipelago's IT department successfully concluded the switch to a cluster of computer hosts, running free and open source software. The cluster is used for some of the government's most critical systems, such as personnel databases, payroll systems, the government websites and its email services.
Using free and open source solutions is also a key part of the government's services to the island's citizens. Moreno: "We're making it easier to interact with the government, bringing more and more services online and simplifying administration."
The IT department manages some 30,000 servers and workstations across the islands, and manages some 23,000 email accounts. The cost for the email services for the autonomous region is 100,000 euro.
La Provincia writes that the islands government now pays 300,000 euro per year for the support for free software used for IT management. The solution replaces a proprietary alternative costing one million euro. The move to free software on the Canary Islands is reinforced by similar migrations implemented by other governments, such as Valencia and Galicia. IT director Moreno: "The Galician regional government is migrating to the similar virtualisation solution like the one we implemented last year."