The recently published Bitkom Open Source Monitor 2023 highlights the surge in the adoption of open source software (OSS) across various sectors in Germany, particularly within public administration.
The study, sponsored by PwC Germany and meticulously designed by industry experts, provides comprehensive insights into the trends and developments surrounding OSS in Germany.
One of the pivotal revelations of the study is the substantial increase in the integration of OSS within public administration. As per the survey findings, a notable 59 percent of the surveyed public authorities are actively leveraging open source software in their operations. This statistic underlines a clear trajectory of growth and acceptance of OSS solutions in government entities, signifying a departure from conventional proprietary software practices towards more flexible, cost-effective, and innovative solutions.
Public sector organisations have shown a remarkable surge in their involvement in the development of OSS. From 2021 to 2023, there has been a substantial leap, with 60 percent of respondents actively participating in the advancement of open source projects. This trend demonstrates a proactive stance by public entities in contributing to and benefiting from the collaborative nature of open source development, fostering an environment of shared innovation and mutual growth.
In addition to the survey results highlighting the increasing adoption of OSS in public administration, the study also revealed significant data on various aspects, including the security measures, compliance frameworks, and the impact of upcoming regulatory acts in shaping the landscape of open source deployment. Notably, it identified the perceived advantages and disadvantages of the use of open source in German administration’s. There, we find that public administrations use OSS for its cost reduction, support of open standards, the wide array of choices of open source components, and its easier customisation possibilities.
The study’s insights underscore the pivotal role OSS plays in reshaping the digital infrastructure of public administration. With its potential to drive efficiency, encourage collaboration, and provide cost-effective solutions, OSS stands as a crucial pillar in the evolution of modern governance practices. As public entities continue to embrace open source solutions, it is evident that the landscape of technology adoption in the public sector is undergoing a transformative shift towards openness, innovation, and resilience.
However, this shift is also constrained by several factors hindering the adoption of OSS. Notably, public administrations have identified several concerns limiting their use of OSS. Among the surveyed administrations, 28% of respondents described the lack of skilled workers as a limiting factor. Additionally, around 20% of respondents identified security as a concern when deploying OSS.