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Federal adoption of open source: It's just a question of how much

Why is the U.S. government adopting open source so broadly? Cost and flexibility.

For the U.S. federal government, it's no longer a question of "if" when it comes to open source, a Federal Computer Week article notes, but "how much" and "which projects."

Government officials who support open source now find they have a new decision to make: whether to use one of the growing number of open-source packages that could handle higher-profile agency operations, such as business intelligence analysis, content management or customer relationship management (CRM), to name a few.

I know from personal experience that there are very few federal organizations that are not already using open-source applications or are evaluating them. Recent survey data suggests that at least 55 percent of U.S. federal agencies are using open source now. I suspect the number is actually much higher. The genie is out of the bottle.

The reason is clear. As the article states, the two primary drivers of open-source adoption are "lower upfront cost and a greater ability to customize." More flexibility. Less cost. It's a perfect combination.