Matt Asay posted that The US Government Bets Big on Open Source. I love what Matt Asay writes and I think he’s poignant. He furthers “the cause” and we’re, as Open Source advocates, fortunate to have him.
So it is rare when I disagree with him – I hardly think of implementing Open Source as “Betting Big”. I frankly feel that all software implementations are a crap-shot if you don’t do due diligence, have an effective roll out plan, and train all the users. But it’s a real big gamble when it’s proprietary software. Who knows what’s in that black box?
One area of improvement I see for our government is in customer service. The Federal Government would really benefit from a Customer Relationship Management System… hmmm, if I only knew of an Open Source CRM system that really scales…. hmmmm….
On a more serious note, I spoke recently with a member of a state government (which will remain nameless) who heard this message loud and clear. They knew their weakness and that the constituents they served deserved better. I’m glad they made a choice to go Sugar. It’s not the first (or second, etc) state to use Sugar either. Which means to me that there’s a lot of opportunity at the local, state, and federal levels.
If you’re a developer in the public-sector, I encourage you to speak up about your use of Open Source and your use of SugarCRM in your organization. I know there are a lot of VARs and System Integrators reading this blog – I encourage you to look for opportunities in the public sector. It’s only going to grow from here, get there now.