McKesson + Red Hat Linux = happy, healthy patients (and profits)

McKesson is improving its business by reducing waste on proprietary licenses.

McKesson is graduating from Unix to Linux - specifically, Red Hat Enterprise Linux - as a way to reinvest hardware and software savings into patient-facing innovations. McKesson is moving all of its applications over to Linux. It's surprising that more companies haven't done this.

"We standardize completely on Red Hat... Standardizing on one distribution increases reliability and safety, and customers don't really want to support six different distributions in-house," said [Michael Simpson, SVP and general manager, McKesson] in an interview. The McKesson/Red Hat partnership is a significant one in the growing field of health care. Handling patient medical records and supplying provider IT systems is a significant contributor to healthcare costs. Generating examples of how to lower those costs can be a feather in the cap of a major supplier to the healthcare industry....

By encouraging the use of Linux, healthcare providers are saving "50% - 60% of their capital expense budgets" and often reinvesting the savings in [innovative applications], such as [McKesson's] Medication Safety Advantage, he said.

Stop wasting money on proprietary licenses, start investing more money into applications that serve real people, not vendors' outmoded business models. Imagine that. McKesson has, and to excellent effect.

Seriously: Everyone should be doing this.

Tech Culture
About the author

    Matt Asay is chief operating officer at Canonical, the company behind the Ubuntu Linux operating system. Prior to Canonical, Matt was general manager of the Americas division and vice president of business development at Alfresco, an open-source applications company. Matt brings a decade of in-the-trenches open-source business and legal experience to The Open Road, with an emphasis on emerging open-source business strategies and opportunities. He is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not an employee of CNET. You can follow Matt on Twitter @mjasay.


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