Wipro's Open Source Tryst Can Drive 'Digital India'

by CXOtoday News Desk    Apr 20, 2015


IT services major Wipro sees much opportunity in the Indian government’s drive in the usage of open source software. “This initiative will usher in greater efficiency, transparency and reliability in India’s technology infrastructure besides creating significant employment opportunities over the medium to long term,” TK Kurien, CEO, Wipro said in a recent statement.

Wipro has identified open source as a core technology initiative and the company’s investments in building a large pool of skilled personnel, comprising open source industry veterans and community experts, to cater to tech requirements in India and abroad. This practice will help its customers build Open Source-based platforms that enable online services on a higher scale, platforms that process big data and other kinds of services at beneficial price points, states a recent Business Line report.

The Indian government has announced the use of open source software across all systems used by the public sector, mandating that all Request for Proposals (RFPs) to instruct suppliers to consider the use of such applications. In its policy unveiled last month, the Ministry of Communication and IT, Ravi Shankar Prasad said that open source adoption was necessary to support the government’s goal to transform India into a “digitally empowered society and a knowledge economy”. He added that India had always advocated the use of open standards and open source technologies in the public sector to tap the touted economic benefits of doing so.

The move is also in line with several governments across the world which prefer open source and open standards for development of their applications and services. The US, the UK and several countries in the European Union also prefer use of open source over proprietary software.

According to a new study, 78 percent of respondents said their companies run part or all of its operations on OSS and 66 percent said their company creates software for customers built on open source. This statistic has nearly doubled since 2010, when a little more than one-third said that they used open source in the running of their business or their IT environments, said the survey stating that over the next 2-3 years, 88 percent are expected to increase contributions to open source projects.

While lack of formal policies to manage open source use continues to deter its adoption, the government sector has been a big user of Open Source. The Indian government has already heightened its use of open source technology, with its crowdsourcing platform MyGov.in, which has been developed entirely on open source technology.

 “In India, most of the e-governance projects in states like Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Orissa and West Bengal are all built using Open Source Systems,” says Venkatesh Swaminathan, Country Manager-India & South Asia, The Attachmate Group.  “E-governance projects are all long-term initiatives. The government can’t afford to have vendor lock-ins and dependencies on propriety software.”

 “Open source has solidified its position as the default base for software development. It is infiltrating almost every facet of the modern enterprise and is outperforming proprietary packages on quality, cost, customization and security. In the startup community we are seeing a continued wave of open source born companies – the next wave of Red Hat, Acquia and Ubuntu while at the same time seeing traditional IT leaders such as HP and Microsoft grafting open source DNA into their core,” says Paul Santinelli, General Partner at North Bridge. “In the coming years, we will see open source unlock the potential of a new generation of technologies – the Internet of Things, big data and cloud computing creating many billions in value.”

Now with IT majors such as Wipro bullish on open source, industry watchers believe that the pace of adoption of open source software and methodologies will continue to rise.