The Federal Ministry of the Interior wants to reduce dependence on individual software providers. It has made use of a "strategic market analysis to reduce dependency on individual software vendors" a spokesman for the ministry explained that it had identified areas for improvement.
He was responding to a question from our site about the demands of the Open Source Business Alliance (OSBA). The latter had suggested last week that "alternatives be explored and a strategy developed that does not increase the administration’s dependence on Microsoft, which has already been identified as a pain point".
The Ministry of the Interior responded that the federal government and the federal states have been "strategy for strengthening the digital sovereignty of public administration IT" Identify and implement solutions and measures. These include the German administration cloud and the planned establishment of a center for digital sovereignty. This is intended to reduce dependencies on software suppliers.
"Software maintenance even after 2025"
"The Center for Digital Sovereignty will, for example, ensure the availability of powerful and scalable open source alternatives", explained the ministry spokesman. It should act as a link between ideas, suggestions and requirements of the public administration (oV) and pass them on to the open source community. It is also to call for collaborative projects between oV and the OS community.
The OSBA had written in a statement last week, "Microsoft has made it clear to the federal administration that after 2025 it will no longer be possible to use the company’s key software products that are central to public administration today. This includes products like Microsoft Office, Sharepoint or Exchange." The Federal Ministry of the Interior said, "Microsoft will continue to provide software maintenance for the currently used Office 2016 and 2019 products after 2025 on the basis of the current conditional contracts".
The OSBA had also called for open, product- and vendor-neutral procurement procedures, "which consider cost-effectiveness over the entire lifecycle, including the possible replacement of software or vendors" is considered. The Ministry replied tersely that award procedures were already being carried out in a product-neutral and vendor-open manner.
The planned Center for Digital Sovereignty is to take over the task of maintaining an open source platform for the public administration. The government recently decided to set up such a platform. There, software projects are to be stored in a structured manner in a Git-based code repository and can be collaboratively edited.
The GovTech Campus Germany was founded in Berlin at the end of June. The association aims to promote cooperation between government, science and the technology scene in business and civil society.