Ministry of Communications will tighten the rules for software with elements of foreign origin

    Recently it became known that the expert council for software at the Ministry of Communications is going to begin to exclude in six months from the register of domestic software products that are based on developments of foreign origin. According to the authors of the idea, this measure will benefit customers who are under sanctions or may fall under them.

    The decision to phase out the use of software, which is based on software products of foreign origin, was taken in November at a meeting of the expert council on Russian software at the Ministry of Communications and Mass Media. In particular, they will refuse "DBMS, application servers and platforms", as reported by Kommersant.

    Products of this kind will not be included in the register of domestic software, since getting into it gives an advantage in public procurement. Software developers with elements of foreign origin received half a year to bring their products in line with new requirements.

    Managing Director of Rosplatform Vladimir Rubanov said that the changes are necessary so that “customers for whom sanctions stability is important” have the opportunity to use Russian technologies. The customers are government agencies, the military industrial complex, state corporations, everyone who is already under sanctions, or else has a great chance to get under them.

    “Russian solutions that are strictly dependent on external foreign platforms continue to indirectly encourage the use of these platforms. Now there is a market regulation towards the interests of the state to strengthen digital sovereignty. The use of foreign DBMS and other things is not prohibited, it is only necessary to support the Russian alternative, ”comments Rubanov.

    Now many foreign manufacturers fully comply with export restrictions that prohibit the use of software in certain countries and territories. And if this software works now, there is no guarantee that it will work later.

    However, the above changes may cause problems for Russian developers. The fact is that a large number of well-known products based on free software fall under the wording “PO of foreign origin”. Experts believe that the register of domestic software can lose about a third of the products in the respective classes. This is about 5 thousand items of software.

    Some experts believe that the government’s initiative is too hasty. If the state needs to abandon foreign products, then it is worthwhile to formulate in advance the requirements for which the domestic software should be customized. The problem is that the normal development cycle of Russian products is one and a half to three years. Not all domestic developers will be able to cope with the adaptation of software for new realities. All products have different technological complexity, so the duration of the transfer may vary.

    The problem is that there is no clear regulation now, no organization has been appointed that will be responsible for checking the software compatibility. Many companies will have to invest heavily in the transition to import-independent software. For most products, this is about 10 million rubles. The scale of the industry is already hundreds of millions of rubles.

    In September of this year, it was reported that Russia will form a catalog of compatibility of Russian and foreign products. The main purpose of the catalog is to give the customer an understanding that he will be able to supplement the purchased software in the future with various modules, as well as integrate it with another software from different stacks. Preliminary work began back in May of this year, and a Committee on the integration of Russian software was created to solve the problem.

    The authors of the idea believe that the catalog allows customers from the public sector to save millions or even billions of rubles. The implementation of this project will be financed from the ARPP budget and additional contributions from different companies. In the finished form, the catalog may appear in the first half of 2019. Compatibility data collection will be carried out with the help of software development companies.

    The chairman of the board of the organization that will be responsible for compiling the catalog is Natalia Kasperskaya.

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