Why UN Prefers Open Source?

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People can design, innovate, share software and knowledge efficiently and effectively with Free and Open Source Software tools. Free and Open Source software programs allow users to freely run the program for any purpose, modify the program as they want, and also freely distribute copies of either the original version or their own modified version. FOSS plays an integral part in development as its very nature makes it a natural component of development efforts.

UN sets the standard to forge universal agreements on emerging ethical issues by supporting the development and use of open-source software. Open, interoperable and unbiased standards for information handling and access are important elements in developing effective infrastructures that contribute to accountability and good governance.

Reasons for FOSS Preference

  • People can access information and knowledge through Software. By not limiting it, more people benefit from it.
  • FOSS communities provide great potential for software development and the concept of knowledge sharing.
  • When more people have access, it increases the innovation and evolution capabilities of the software.
  • Technology can be brought to the utility of people around the world with free and open-source software.
  • The United Nations is aware of the fact that FOSS can to a great extent narrow the bridge between communities and their digital discrepancies.

Benefits of FOSS over Proprietary Systems

According to Michael Skok of Harvard Business School: "Open source cracks IT challenges by improving efficiency and lowering cost by 68%". Other benefits include:

  • Proprietary software is tightly controlled and this leads to dependency.
  • Open Source Softwares are flexible and highly configurable compared to proprietary systems due to the modularity of the source code.
  • OSS encourages participation through forums of nonprofit agencies and government which decrease their dependence on software providers. This includes no restriction in source code, functionality, and contractual commitments which result in technology innovations.
  • Due to the backing of the community, OSS is continuously evolving and reduces the possibility of leaving the users high and dry. There is more possibility of a development trajectory by keeping in sync with the latest trends which results in progress.
  • Due to the open nature of OSS, there is no dearth of software development and operator skills available in the general public, which means that OSS can be maintained over a period of time, and can be easily accommodated within existing software infrastructure.
  • However, the most significant benefit of OSS is the translation capability of the software into local languages and its compatibility with various devices.

Drupal is a Free and Open source software used by different government agencies like the UK, US (Department of Health), Australian government to build their websites. UN also has built its website in Drupal.

Zyxware Technologies is a Drupal development company that started in 2006. We firmly believe in FOSS and are an associate member of free software foundation. We have over 10 years of experience in the industry. To see if your organization can benefit from our expertise in the software industry, please contact us!

Reference

[1].http://www.slideshare.net/mjskok/2014-future-of-open-source-8th-annual-survey-results/31OPEN_SOURCE_CRACKS_IT_CHALLENGES3162IMPROVE

[2].http://www.unesco.org/new/en/communication-and-information/access-to-knowledge/free-and-open-source-software-foss