Calling himself “Steve Jobs’ best customer,” a politician in charge of a government efficiency drive in the U.K. hopes to end the “monopoly” from companies like Microsoft, Fujitsu, BT and HP.
Ian Watmore, former head of the e-Government Unit, is now CEO of the coalition government’s Efficiency and Reform Group. He’s calling for smaller, less expensive IT projects (capping them at £100m), criticizing the previous administration’s “over-ambitious projects.”
The reform group has promised to open up procurement to smaller firms, who face a blockade from companies like HP, BT and Fujitsu, who together get about a third of central government contracts.
Watmore believes open source would be great for government, but that Apple is probably the next best thing:
“I personally would like to see people move off Microsoft products onto open source or use Apple technology. I use Apple at home. I know it’s not very open but I use it. I love it, it works and I think it is great – I’m Steve Jobs’ best customer.
But 95% of the business and government world still use Microsoft for its basic desktop products because it is reliable and it works. I think we, in government, have an opportunity to change that game quite dramatically, particularly on desktop technology, by getting greater use of open products.”
Here in the U.S., Cult of Mac talked to a city council member who brings his own iPad to work; there have been numerous discussions on whether Apple products are more cost efficient for government use or not.
Would you like to see more Apple products in your local government?