Billion dollar SOE tender out

So, the IDA has released their multibillion dollar SOE tender to the four consortia to bid, sometime last week. What is singlularly annoying with this is that there is no public announcement of it – notwithstanding that we are dealing with billions here. Also, when my organization approached the four consortia to propose a 100% open source stack, 3 of the 4 have so far said, no thank you. Here’s a snippet from an email that shows the rot that is at the top: “I am not sure we can solution a Linux solution into SOE at this point in time. I think there is a better chance of doing that for Mindef SOE. In any case there doesn’t seem to be any expressed interest on the part of IDA.”

No expressed interest? This is exactly what has been said time and time again. IDA would never give “expressed interest” for fear of offending Redmond. Where is the thought and technical leadership to make bold initiatives? Going with “value for money, fit for purpose” mantra as dictated to them by the good people at the BSA is humbug. It is not a matter of just money, it is about tax payers money going to technologies that will lock out people.

It is the fact that as it stands, all the 4 consortia are tied at their umbilical cords to the Proprietary Redmond Money Machine. What’s failing here? Is there no thought and technical leadership at the highest levels of IDA? Why then do we need the IDA? It has been widely acknowledged in the IT industry here that the IDA is a poor cousin to what the National Computer Board was – atleast the NCB had a clue.

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