Open-Source Platform Gains Popularity In Government

Stuart Corner | The Age | September 24, 2013

So popular has a little-known open-source program become within federal government agencies that there is now a shortage of expertise in Canberra.

Federal government chief technology officer John Sheridan said two factors were combining to drive the popularity of the Drupal content management system at the expense of proprietary software: the emergence of commercial entities able to give government the confidence to use open source, and the increasing cost and complexity of proprietary software.

Addressing a Forrester Research CIO Summit in Sydney recently, Sheridan said previous resistance to open source was gone.

''When people asked me why we were not using more open source I would say, imagine fronting Senate estimates to explain why your system failed and having to say: 'I was just relying on help by posting to the bulletin board on the internet and nobody came back to me fast enough.' Now the development of companies that provide support to those open-source solutions changes what we can do.''