The Public Sector, Open Source and CRM

It seems like my Google alerts have been inundated with government/open source or government/CRM – related stories this past week, so I figured I’d add my two cents to the mix.

Besides the recent rumblings online about the U.K. government, I also just received the March issue of CRM magazine, which ironically enough has a cover story on government and CRM. In the article, Ken Landoline, a longtime industry pundit, says the public sector is “15 to 20 years behind the customer care contact center world,” in terms of deploying CRM.

Combined with articles about the U.S. government possibly holding back on open source due to ideological regions, it’s no wonder this country sometimes finds itself in the predicaments that it’s in. Personally, I think U.S. government could learn a lot from corporate IT departments, whether those benefits are realized through open source implementations or not.

The consideration and adoption of open source, Web forums, Web 2.0-related technologies, etc., could go a long way to realizing those benefits. While Obama received an extensive amount of coverage for his Web 2.0 – driven election, it would be great to see those same initiatives be undertaken throughout other government agencies as well.

And as Dana Blankenhorn states in her blog, and market acceptance and creditability that would result aside, the sheer number of resources that the government could dump into open source projects would be staggering. Developers, code, extensions, functionality…you name it, they’d work on it, and provide a wealth of industry and vertical expertise unrivaled in the history of the development model.

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