Should a friend/customer come to me with an issue - in 99% of cases I'll solve in using Open Source Software. If it works, then it's a fantastic solution - especially as I can get my hands on that software for free. However, coming to things like virus checkers on Windows. I'll use clam where I can, but lots of the people I talk to want Norton or McAffee - big brands that they have confidence in.
In the public sector, consultancies and "internal expertise" provide the noise for the decision makers. In a market where MSFT is the incumbent - how can any advice be independent? One may be independent to certain aspects of a decision - but never the whole decision. If someone claims to be independent from the whole decision then have absolutely no authority to be influencing the decision in the first place.
It therefore seems sensible to target those offering the "independent advice" as well as the governments that are listening.
Many consultants feel that procurement procedures are used to keep consultants at arm's length in order to avoid giving unfair advantage. "If people in the public sector talk to potential suppliers in a more free and open way it would dramatically improve the quality of work done," says Alan Downey, head of government at KPMG. (FT.com, 19th Nov 2007)
"If the whole public sector operated in a more free and open way it would dramatically improve everything," - andylockran (18th Dec 2007)