Large software providers such as Microsoft and Oracle are stepping up their “audit review” raids on public sector customers, propping up their dwindling licensing sales with fines for licencing agreement non-compliance. According to a report by Cerno, 39% of local authorities have been subjected to review in the the last 20 months, with 60% of them forced to cough up heavy penalties. Paid for out of public funds.
Some public sector organisations are starting to see the benefit of moving away from expensive propriety IT solutions, with their moves to open source and in-house solutions forcing big software companies to find other ways of squeezing them for cash. The user rights of public sector IT contracts are extremely complex and often misunderstood, leaving the door open for software companies to swoop in and levy fines for arrears in licence fees and support.
Is the software mafia’s grip beginning to slip?