Open source has found its way into the Federal IT systems. Within a few last years the government websites switched to open source content management system (CMS) Drupal saving tens millions taxpayer dollars. Now, Nasa is launching code.nasa.gov, the latest member of the government open source family.
Nasa is planning to launch its open source project in three phases:
- First comes guidance on how to engage the open source process, points of contact, and a directory of existing projects;
- Phase two will concentrate on providing a robust forum for ongoing discussion of open source concepts, policies, and projects at the Agency;/li>
- In the third phase, Nasa will turn to the tools and mechanisms development projects generally need to be successful, such as distributed version control, issue tracking, continuous integration, documentation, communication, and planning/management.
Open source is associated with free. Free does not mean there is no money in it, quite the opposite is true – there are multiple market opportunities for IT vendors in customizing open source for the Federal IT missions. The open source segment within the Federal IT market is estimated at hundreds millions dollars annually, growing at a very robust two-digit growth rate, according to market study U.S. Federal IT Market Forecast 2013-2018.