Aussie CIOs get clearer vista on open source

Aussie CIOs get clearer vista on open source

Summary: Local chief information officers at a Sydney conference this week were more interested in talking about open source and standards-based software than Microsoft's new operating system. At the 10th annual CIO Week conference, two of the key speakers said they were welcoming open source software into the enterprise.

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Local chief information officers at a Sydney conference this week were more interested in talking about open source and standards-based software than Microsoft's new operating system.

At the 10th annual CIO Week conference, two of the key speakers said they were welcoming open source software into the enterprise.

On Tuesday, David Backley, the CIO and chief information security officer of Australia's fourth-largest bank Westpac, walked the audience through his journey with major outsourcer IBM. Backley told delegates that six years into the 10-year deal, he has realised that open source software is at a stage where it has to be taken seriously.

"We are looking far more seriously at the use of collaborative technologies and open source. We really do need to respond as an organisation to the open source movement."

"Open source software is inside a lot of the packages that we buy. Organisations are bringing it in and we need to accept them and accept that we need to do something about it," said Backley.

Wotif.com's Paul Young told ZDNet Australia that he decided to base the company's infrastructure on Red Hat Linux five years ago and since that time, his developers have contributed code back into the open source community.

According to Young, the need for specific desktop operating systems was becoming less important as more applications become browser-based.

"[Windows Vista] makes absolutely no difference to us whatsoever. I believe the hardware and the operating system is an abstraction. If you look at what a lot of people do, they use e-mail and they use a browser and that is 90 percent of their online life."

"Unless there is something revolutionary that comes out, what is the critical reason that we would take this operating system upgrade? I don't see it," said Young.

Topics: CXO, Banking, Open Source, Windows

Munir Kotadia

About Munir Kotadia

Munir first became involved with online publishing in 1998 when he joined ZDNet UK and later moved into print publishing as Chief Reporter for IT Week, part of ZDNet UK, a weekly trade newspaper targeted at Enterprise IT managers. He later moved back into online publishing as Senior News Reporter for ZDNet UK.

Munir was recognised as Australia's Best Technology Columnist at the 5th Annual Sun Microsystems IT Journalism Awards 2007. In the previous year he was named Best News Journalist at the Consensus IT Writers Awards.

He no longer uses his Commodore 64.

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6 comments
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  • Microsoft Vista (and windoze period)

    Most people don't realize, but windows doesn't matter. AT ALL. There is no task in the world of windows that can't be done in Linux. And Linux is more stable, more secure, and free. You just have to take the time to learn it.
    anonymous
  • Do you live in the real world

    The parent message claims that "there is no task in the world of windows that can't be done in Linux"..... please that is a ridiculous statement. AutoCAD immediately comes to mind, I don't think there is a Linux equivalent for that.

    If you get into specialised areas unfortunately they haven't moved into the Linux world yet.

    Linux is more than adequate for a large number of office workers but you must be realistic.
    anonymous
  • Who needs windows

    Every application that runs on windows has an equivalint on linux or can be run thru WINE to have the windows executable itself run on linux.
    anonymous
  • Bad wine

    Ok, wine runs every windows application... yeah right. And if they do run, they generally have 'minor issues'. Those sorts of things that pump up the support budget.

    Autocad 2006 is a nice example of what doesn't run under wine. Nor anything else that relies on .NET 1.1.

    To all you platform zealots out there: I hate you. You are all idiots.
    anonymous
  • Pot to Kettle

    Ahhh, you HATE platform zealots?

    Does that make you a platformless Zealot?

    Without Linux zealots and Apple fanboys, all we'd have would be boring conversations about the coolness yet another Windows bug-fix.

    Sturgeon's Law states that 95 percent of everything is crap. Given Microsoft's market share, by definition it is responsible for most of that crap.
    anonymous
  • Others

    I can think of many applications that does not run on Windows and would not be considered: many of them being the critical ones, such as medical equipment and high-end imaging applications, embedded OS's in all types equipment, military applications.

    Personally I would not trust windows to run your car's safety systems.... or deploy a parachute in an emergency.... would you? :-)
    anonymous