Document Actions

Open source should be used to commoditise government IT, says Cabinet Office's Tariq Rashid

Public Technology - Open source technology should be used to help commoditise government IT to move from cost-heavy bespoke systems to the more competitive end of the market, Tariq Rashid, IT Reform, Cabinet Office has said.

He also warned that by using customised IT solutions, or trying to aggregate demand to drive discounts, government departments were losing their power as a customer and missing out on the fierce dynamics of the commodity market.

Rashid made his comments while speaking at the Open Gov Summit 2013 in London today, where he also reiterated the Cabinet Office's current approach to IT - specifically, the drive towards user need, agile development and sustained value.

He did however, elaborate further on the sustained value and how the government needs to change its approach to achieve it.

"If you can sustain competitive tension beyond the point of purchase, that's the only thing that's going to give you long term value," he said.

"We've been putting too much effort into trying to extract effort from the market, by standardising services, approaching suppliers and asking for discount in the promise of users."

The result has been technical dependencies and the wrong approach to the market.