US DoD clarifies position on Open Source Software


Open Source - Department of Defense | Admin Arsenal

Powdermonkey reports that the US Department of Defense has opened its arms to the idea of Open Source Software (OSS).

Having done a fair amount of consulting work for different agencies in the DoD this clarification is nice, though a tad late. To be fair, the DoD has long used OSS and even has an office to administer the policy. However the DoD is nothing if not gigantic, encapsulating agencies that are of themselves beyond enterprise in size & scope.

You can download the actual letter from the DoD CIO. As quoted by powdermonkey:

To effectively achieve its missions, the Department of Defense must develop and
update its software-based capabilities faster than ever, to anticipate new threats and respond to continuously changing requirements. The use of Open Source Software (OSS) can provide advantages in this regard.

As noted in our blog on the US Air Force setting the standard for the “Federal Desktop Core Configuration”, the DoD is a market force to take note of.

It will be interesting to see what impact, if any, this announcement has. Many agencies in the US Federal Government have been focusing their acquisitions on COTS (Commercial Off-the-Shelf) products. Yet for agility in product enhancements and security threat response, the OSS has a great track record.