Janik von Rotz

2 min read

IT monoculture in administration

The pressure on working methodology in public administrations and institutions is increasing. Innovation and creativity are required. A prime example was the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH). Last summer, there was a call for the systematic collection of statistics on corona case numbers. At the time, the main means of communication at the FOPH was fax.

The case numbers were telephoned to Bern by the hospitals and physicians. The error rates were correspondingly high and it was correspondingly easy to falsify the data. With the support of private companies, the situation has since been improved.

Everyone is affected

What the FOPH has experienced is now awaiting public administration at all levels. Whether municipal, cantonal or even federal, they all have to be innovative and digital natives. The demands are high, and those who want to meet them need not only well-paid specialists, but also the right IT landscape. The IT landscape is the sum of the IT systems and technologies used. And here, a direct comparison can be made with agriculture.

The area of tension

Just as monocultures are a problem in agriculture, they are also a problem in the IT landscape. What the corn sead from Monsanto is for the farmer, are products from Microsoft in public administration. We have yet to see a sovereign IT strategy that is not dictated by Microsoft products. And that’s a problem. Because monocultures inhibit the ability to innovate.

The design of IT is at the crossroads of efficiency, innovativeness and sovereignity. Microsoft’s products allow efficient and flexible work, but you only develop as far as the products and therefore Microsoft allow. How can you overshoot the mark?

Open Source the solution?

As a company that relies on open source software (OSS), we (Mint System) believe that the use of OSS in administration promotes diversity in the IT landscape and thus allows creative thinking to flourish. But beware: It takes a lot of work to blossom. Dealing with OSS requires a lot of competence. From the formulation of the tender documents to the commissioning of the business application, the right fertilizer must be used and the right seed sown.

Categories: Politics
Tags: monoculture , thoughts , landscape
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