Yesterday, I had the pleasure of meeting with Per-Ola SjÃƒÂ¶swÃƒÂ¤rd, executive ITÃ‚Â strategist at the Swedish National Police. That organisation is alreadyÃ‚Â way ahead of most of us when it comes to Open Source adoption. But theyÃ‚Â have higher ambitions still.
The Rikspolisstyrelsen logotype is on many Sun slides, as an example ofÃ‚Â an "Enterprise 2.0" type MySQL customer. Besides sounding cool, theÃ‚Â "Enterprise 2.0" name is supposed to portray what all the organisationsÃ‚Â in that group have in common: They're generic enterprises in anyÃ‚Â industry, and they use the same internal IT architecture as Web 2.0Ã‚Â companies use externally.
The Swedish Police, to be specific, doesn't use just Web appsÃ‚Â internally. But still, we're talking about a 70% share. The other 30%Ã‚Â are based on the Java Swing architecture, so it's still fairly portableÃ‚Â and far away from vendor lock in.
The figure 70% also goes for the share of their IT budget that isÃ‚Â allocated towards internal application development. Only 30% of theirÃ‚Â apps are in areas such as HR or ERP, where generic solutions can beÃ‚Â applied. All applications specific to the "industry" of being the policeÃ‚Â authority have to be tailored to the needs of the Swedish Police, as noÃ‚Â generic apps in this area exist.
That, in turn, means that the main headache of their IT and CIO shouldÃ‚Â be the future compliance and maintenance of their own code base. ByÃ‚Â contrast, the main headache should not be about vendor lock-in or theÃ‚Â cost of proprietary licenses. And that is exactly where the SwedishÃ‚Â Police is heading: Lack of vendor dependence, very low licensing costsÃ‚Â and total cost of ownership through Open Source.
In the CIO corner of mysql.comÃ‚Â we have described how Per-Ola took the initiative that led to theÃ‚Â Swedish Police having adopted a multi-tiered architecture built on JavaÃ‚Â Enterprise Edition and Open Source components. That architecture theyÃ‚Â call LIMBO, for Linux, MySQL and JBoss. Now, they're taking the nextÃ‚Â step -- migrating their old apps, based on Tuxedo, to LIMBO. ThisÃ‚Â iniative they call "Ren IT", meaning "Clean IT" -- as they're cleaningÃ‚Â up their legacy application architecture.
That's no small undertaking. We're talking 33 applications, with a totalÃ‚Â rewrite effort of 107.000 man hours.
That rewrite effort requires a budget of 9,1 million Euros, which isÃ‚Â money that has to be taken from somewhere as it isn't part of anyÃ‚Â default budgets. On the other hand, that still represents a huge savingsÃ‚Â compared to the 21 million Euros they would have to spend just onÃ‚Â licenses,Ã‚Â proprietary server hardwareÃ‚Â and maintenance alone (no new functionality!) to hold on toÃ‚Â their current Tuxedo solutions, which also includes proprietaryÃ‚Â operating systems, server hardware and databases.
The Swedish Police is making bold moves, but doing absolutely the rightÃ‚Â thing with taxpayer money. The savings of over 10 million eurosÃ‚Â translates to quite a lot of police cars, or full-time police officersÃ‚Â concentrating on what the Swedish National Police is in business for.
What a great role model!