Lockheed Martin Study Finds Contractors Leading the Way for Government in Open Source Adoption

GAITHERSBURG, 05/11/2011 --

Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] and Market Connections Inc. today released a joint study on federal agencies' understanding of open source software (OSS) and the role it can play in moving government to cloud computing while also influencing policies.

One key finding: 69 percent of respondents from government contractors say their organizations are already using OSS, versus just 40 percent of federal agency respondents.

Lockheed Martin's Melvin Greer, Senior Fellow and Chief Strategist, Cloud Computing, noted that the contractor community's development of internal expertise in using open source software will help the government in its adoption of OSS.

"When Vivek Kundra, the U.S. Chief Information Officer, unveiled his 25-point implementation plan for IT reform, one of his top initiatives was a call to shift to a cloud-computing first policy," Greer said. "We believe that the use of open source software will facilitate this shift, as a way to speed implementation, lower costs, and drive the development of standards for cloud computing."

The study, The Intersection of Open Source and the Cloud, further revealed that many government respondents do not have a good understanding of what open source software is, though they are aware of its potential benefit in producing reliable, high-quality software quickly and affordably.

"One major takeaway is that while most federal respondents believe that OSS is the wave of the future, acceptance is hindered by a widespread lack of understanding and awareness," said Cynthia Poole, research director at Market Connections, a leading provider of government market research. "In fact, four out of 10 respondents were not sure of their agency's use of open source, or plans to expand it."

A sample of other key findings:

  • 52 percent said spending on OSS will increase over the next 12-18 months
  • 66 percent of respondents said OSS use will expand in the next 12-18 months

Lockheed Martin and Market Connections will host a webinar on the topic Wednesday, May 11 at 2 p.m. EDT. Eucalyptus Systems, Red Hat, and DLT Solutions will sponsor the briefing. Details and registration online.

Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin is a global security company that employs about 126,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development,

manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. The Corporation's 2010 sales from continuing operations were $45.8 billion.