21 Feb UK Government Reducing Reliance on Microsoft
Exploring Other IT Options
There has been much coverage recently about the UK government changing their approach to IT, including a change in attitude to their system suppliers. Recent reports suggest that they are ready to make a commitment to reducing their sole reliance on Microsoft solutions; opening up to a more flexible approach.
The UK Government and Microsoft
The British government are spending a lot of money on Microsoft products, with many reports suggesting that up to £200 million has been spent on Office alone since 2010. This is an astronomical amount, but how have they spent this much in such a short space of time? The cost of a basic Office package is around £160 per device, but many departments require the Professional version, which can cost up to £300 per device. This all adds up across different departments and agencies.
There have been a number of security problems associated with Microsoft, most noticeably as a consequence of the expiration of Windows XP. According to Tech Radar; “HMRC and NHS Scotland said that they both had migration plans in place to replace their XP systems, moving to Windows 7 in most cases…
…Those plans, however, will not be in place when Windows XP’s end-of-life deadline passes on April 8. Microsoft offer a subscription service for companies still on its old operating system to receive relevant security updates. HMRC, nor NHS Scotland, however, will pay for this protection.”
The Developments in the Cloud
Cloud computing has been one factor that drives a change in approach to government IT. The increased reliability and more stringent security of cloud solutions make them viable for the public sector industry, when previously they were off limits. Open source tools such as OpenOffice and Google Drive are now serious contenders to Microsoft, and both the private and public sector are responding as such.
The initiative is being headed by Francis Maude, a Cabinet Minister and member of the Conservative Party. As well as aiming to overhaul the government’s IT strategy, he is a massive advocate of the increasing amount of SMEs winning public sector contracts.
A big factor in this is the creation of CloudStore, which is a site that allows public organisations and councils to buy software. This has contributed massively to the success of many SMEs, as the site sees around £10 million per month spent, with approximately 50% going to SMEs.
At Tricostar, our solutions are ready for these changes. Our court bundling software is based on OpenOffice, and Sage CRM is designed to work with Google Docs & Drive. Timebase247 is a cloud-based solution that is part of CloudStore. Our extensive experience in the public sector gives us a unique opportunity to work with the government to make their IT more efficient and highly effective.
For more information about what Tricostar can provide, get in touch online or call 0208 292 2660 today.