My CEO, John Powell, spoke at a United Kingdom government IT event the other day (along with my friend from Microsoft, Nick Mcgrath, who looks a bit like Hugh Grant, though without the same moral problems :-). In the course of the event, it was mentioned that 85% of the UK's government $24 billion IT budget is tied up in eight (8!!!) vendors.
Think about that. Think about what this means: eight vendors have a tremendous amount of leverage over the taxpayers of the United Kingdom.
None of those eight are open-source vendors. None of them - I would imagine - have strong open-data policies. Even abstracting away from such considerations, what happens if one of these vendors - however benevolent - changes its strategy? Product mix? Goes out of business? Etc.
The UK, in other words, is a captive of its IT vendors. That is shockingly wrong.