Techniques to help business and government take a strategic, rather than an ad hoc approach, to open source usage will feature at the LinuxWorld conference next month.
Vice president of Linux Australia, Pia Waugh said 70 percent of Australian businesses are running open source somewhere in their infrastructure.
"Whether it is a firewall, antispam program, a cluster, or something else, ICT managers and decision makers understand that open source technologies and methodologies can help them achieve their business goals if they understand comprehensively the opportunities and challenges," she said.
Waugh says there is still a lot of confusion surrounding open source and its place in government and enterprise.
"There is a lot of misinformation out there on both sides of the fence which the market needs to work through; however, there are consultants out there that specialize in such information," she said.
"Governments around the world are starting to collaborate more on areas of common interest which helps them greatly."
Waugh said the Australian government is ahead of many in its adoption of open source, citing as examples the Australian Government Information Management Office (AGIMO) Open Source guide for Government, and the work by the NSW Department of Commerce, and Opensource WA.
The big challenge for Australia now is to collaborate more closely with governments which are seeing great technical, economic and social benefits from strong open source policies and initiatives, she said.
Waugh will be speaking at the conference about ways for organizations and agencies to create an open source strategy.
"The ultimate strategy is to understand how open source differs from proprietary software," she said, "which then helps in knowing how to best deploy open source technologies, and how to manage in-house technical skills, procurement and management policies and much more."
"It also gives you the opportunity to leverage the world's most efficient development and global communication methodologies in the world. Open source offers far more than technical solutions. It offers a better way to do business."
LinuxWorld runs from March 28 to 30 in Sydney, features more than 30 local and international speakers, and will include presentations, panel discussions and workshops. The last day will be a dedicated 'government' day, and will include presentations by senior representatives from the Australian Government Information Management Office, the NSW Department of Commerce, OpenSource WA, and National Archives of Australia.