Open systems and SAA: a letter from America helps clear the air

The Canberra Times,  11 December, 1989

 SEVERAL aspects of the Department of Defence's project DESINE and Supply Systems Redevelopment Project contracts were examined by the Public Accounts Committee last Friday.

... (on IBM policy of only renting mainframe software with arbitrary increases - the write of the letter suggested that the costs of system software on IBM installations exceeded the original cost of the hardware on average after 20 months ...

"... The Australian Taxation Office is about convert its software from a proprietary Control Data environment to a proprietary IBM environment at a cost reputed to be fifty million dollars. Why not convert to an open environment?

Although the Defence Department has some hundreds of open systems plus proprietary mainframe systems, there is pressure to adopt proprietary systems throughout the Department, that is to IBM PS/2 and mainframes. Again, tremendous conversion and on-going costs.

If the Federal Government were now to mandate a move to a POSIX-compliant computing and communications environment in Departments and Authorities, perhaps a billion dollars of recurrent expenditure on hardware and software would be saved. Further the balance of payments would be improved by the export of more internationally competitive products.

(Name and address supplied)