Massachusetts Issues Public Review Draft of Open-Source Initiative

Tech investments must consider best value and total cost of ownership

by / November 24, 2003
The state of Massachusetts today issued a public review draft of its controversial open-source initiative. The brief document defines "open source" and "open standards" and listed three business and technology drivers for the initiative:
  • Effective and efficient government service delivery requires system integration and data sharing
  • Technology investments must be made based on total cost of ownership and best value to the commonwealth. Component-based software development based on open standards allows for a more cost-effective "build once, use many times" approach
  • Open systems and specifications are often less costly to acquire, develop and maintain and do not result in vendor lock-in.
Policies include:
  • All prospective IT investments will comply with open standards referenced in the current version of the Enterprise Technology Reference Model
  • Existing IT systems will be reviewed for open standards compatibility and will be enhanced to achieve open standards compatibility where appropriate. Open standards solutions will be selected when these systems need major enhancements or retirement
  • All prospective IT investments will consider both open standards compliant open source and proprietary software as part of a best value evaluation of potential solutions. A best value evaluation should consider at a minimum total cost of ownership, fit with identified business requirements, reliability, performance, scalability, security, maintenance requirements, legal risks, and ease of customization
  • For existing proprietary IT systems, open source alternatives will be considered as part of a best value evaluation of potential solutions when these systems need major enhancements or retirement.

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Wayne Hanson

Wayne E. Hanson served as a writer and editor with e.Republic from 1989 to 2013, having worked for several business units including Government Technology magazine, the Center for Digital Government, Governing, and Digital Communities. Hanson was a juror from 1999 to 2004 with the Stockholm Challenge and Global Junior Challenge competitions in information technology and education.