Europe’s public administrations should support the use of open source in all sectors of the economy and in public administration, a study for the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology recommends. The report by German and French ICT researchers, concludes that “open source is important for the future of the European software industry.”
European policy actions should strengthen the open source knowledge base and the exchange of best practices between private and public organisations, the researchers write. The EU should do more to make clear to European companies, public administrations and users what the advantages of open source software are.
The study recommends:
- Helping enterprises use open source software as an economic strategy and grasp the opportunities for co-production. Learning from US experiences with integrating open source into working business models;
- Enhancing communication within the open source software development community as well as with potential users, strengthening the knowledge base and sharing of best practices between enterprises;
- Supporting technologies that help find and use open source software; and
- EU institutions should become open source software users themselves, even more than they already are. This would provide relevant use cases, ensure long-term support, and secure high-level quality control.
The authors from Pierre Audoin Consultants (PAC), Le CXP and Fraunhofer ISI, add that, based on interviews, workshops and surveys, European companies want European policies to increase support of open source.
From the report:
- A global player active in manufacturing and logistics said: “I would like to see more support for the open source software community. Government and EU institutions should use open source software much more themselves! This would provide great use cases, ensure long-term support, secure solutions and a high level of quality control. And it would also help other users.”
- A large wholesaler told us: “We appreciate what is done by the open source software community. That should receive support in the future.”
Published on 5 March, the report ranks open source software as one of the nine key drivers of the European software industry, alongside Big Data, Mobility, Cloud Computing and the Internet of Things.