Open source, open standards and open technologies will continue to make big news and big gains among governments and enterprises in 2007. However, I expect the real action -- the real leadership -- in open ICT will be by municipal governments. Cities are today's leading open innovators.
As 2006 ended, cities were driving technology innovation (and open ICT) in the public sector. Notable examples include:
* Netherlands: Amsterdam (and 8 other cities) issued a "Manifesto for Open Source in Government," committing themselves to bringing open ICT to city government. Amsterdam will commence an open source demonstration project in early 2007.
* France: the greater Paris region will become a center of excellence for open source software development. The effort will be a major public-private partnership aiming to provide a new foundation for innovation and growth.
* South Korea: A major city, Gwangju Metropolitan City, has been designated an Open Source City in order to promote regional software development and drive economic competitiveness. The city completed an Information Strategy Plan, identifying areas ripe for open source in their infrastructure. Execution begin in the education sector.
* Germany: A healthy competition exists among cities vying to be Germany's open source trendsetter. Current contenders include Munich, Nuremburg, Mannheim, and even tiny Schwäbisch Hall (population 36,000), the first to entirely replace Windows.
* Numerous cities big and small -- including Vienna, Bergen, Bristol, Birmingham, Barcelona, and even Kenosha, Wisconsin -- are adopting open technologies. The race is on, and there are new entrants every day.
The trend is clear: For leadership in open source and open ICT, look to your cities.
Categories: OpenSource, innovation, government