Yesterday I attended the excellent Whitehall Word up event about how WordPress is being used in central government organised by Simon Dickson @simond and hosted by BIS. Others will be covering the more technical aspects of the event however something else struck me. This was how the event highlighted the workings of the free market economy.
One of the selling points of WordPress is that is it free, i.e there are no licence fees to pay to software providers and probably lot less involvement of traditional in-house IT contractors.
However as some technical expertese/advice is always useful a number of (very) small companies are in the market and have been helping Departments in beneficial ways. Some of these were present at this very friendly meeting. It was clear that they all have slightly different offerings and have attempted to solve different issues. I also suspected that they were all sizing each other up and presumably working out if they should offer the same service as one of the other companies or mimic their solutions.
This is a good thing! It is called competition and I think it is extremely helpful and this friendly competition will allow these companies to keep developing new and innovative solutions for government. What we must not do is stifle it by onerous tendering procedures that add to their overheads and as a result raise prices.