Digitisation & open source

Schleswig-Holstein to increase use of open source

05/10/2017

The government of the state of Schleswig-Holstein (Germany) aims to increase its use of free and open source software, according to German press reports. The aim is a "complete replacement" of proprietary software, IT news site Heise writes.

The IT strategy is one of the outcomes of this summer’s government coalition agreement following the elections in May, Heise explains. The state’s Green party succeeded in prioritising the use of open source, in order to reduce lock-in by proprietary software vendors. The coalition agreed that open interfaces, open standards and open software increase citizens’s confidence, help to increase IT security, and enable innovation.The IT news site spoke to Robert Habeck, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Digitisation in Schleswig-Holstein. Habeck said that the enormous market power of a few IT corporations is a problem for government digitisation: “It is difficult for politics and public services to escape from them. Digitally, we have to become more self-reliant.”

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According to Heise, a new central IT management initiative at the Department of Digitisation is to drive the change to open source alternatives. Progress is being made in switching over server-based applications that do not directly impact desktop users. Changing proprietary desktop applications is much more difficult and will take a long time, the IT news sites writes. One reason is that these proprietary software applications’ have limited support for IT standards and use mostly proprietary programming interfaces.

More information:

Heise news item (in German)
Der Standard news item (in German)
Silicon news item (in German)

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