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Government Insights Predicts Open Source Software Will Grow Fastest in Government Sector    
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According to a recent analysis conducted by market research firm Government Insights (an IDC company), open source software will gain momentum faster within the government sector than it will in other markets. Government Insights predicts government information technology (IT) will most likely see the most substantial growth in the use of open source software over the next five years, with rapid growth in the five to ten year timeframe. This study also predicts a ‘value shift’ for software within the government community, citing the initial shift driven by state and local governments sharing their custom-developed solutions.

"Government software needs are unique because governments perform a unique function – service to the citizen," says Shawn P. McCarthy, head of vendor programs at Government Insights. "Unlike the private sector, when governments help coordinate the open source development process, they greatly benefit from the code that is created, even if the code is freely available to others. State governments in particular will benefit from the approach of keeping software value within a community; an application created for one state can easily be used by other states."

Also in this report, Government Insights estimates a 30% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of open source software as part of total IT spending, as well as forecasts the growth of open source software within the government IT market through 2009. The forecasts are divided into three categories, including Application Development and Deployment, Applications, and System Infrastructure Software.

"This is the same kind of aggressive growth that we saw in the early days of Linux," adds McCarthy. "There is reason to believe that this growth will continue past 2010, making both traditional and government coordinated open source projects a force to be reckoned with in the next decade. Government agencies are now developing their own open code repositories, and also working with system integrators to develop new government-specific open source solutions."

"This evolving government open source model has the potential to place the industry's large system integrators in a powerful position," says Teresa Bozzelli, managing director and COO for Government Insights. "Government agencies have shown an increasing reliance on system integrators and IT service providers to build and manage their systems. In recent years, IT service providers have formalized some of their internal support, training, and certification services to encourage development of open source solutions. In preparing for the next decade, system integrators need to work with the growing numbers of open source developers, and continue to integrate the developers' increasingly granular applications that customize the shared governmental software."

The study is entitled The Long Term Impact of Open Source Solutions on Government IT Spending
Source : Government Insights, an IDC Company

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