The trainwreck-waiting-to-happen that is UK government IT spending

The UK is a captive of its IT vendors. This is wrong on so many levels.

My CEO, John Powell, spoke at a United Kingdom government IT event the other day (along with my friend from Microsoft, Nick Mcgrath, who looks a bit like Hugh Grant, though without the same moral problems :-). In the course of the event, it was mentioned that 85% of the UK's government $24 billion IT budget is tied up in eight (8!!!) vendors.

Think about that. Think about what this means: eight vendors have a tremendous amount of leverage over the taxpayers of the United Kingdom.

None of those eight are open-source vendors. None of them - I would imagine - have strong open-data policies. Even abstracting away from such considerations, what happens if one of these vendors - however benevolent - changes its strategy? Product mix? Goes out of business? Etc.

The UK, in other words, is a captive of its IT vendors. That is shockingly wrong.

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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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