We hope that our Microsoft licensing story (page 30) is an accurate reflection of most housing providers’ response to Microsoft’s licensing changes – costs will go up and alternatives will be considered, combined with a degree of resignation.
Housing Technology’s view is that while Microsoft should have given more notice of these changes so that budgets could have been adjusted in good time, the inclusion of housing providers within Microsoft’s charities sector for licensing purposes was always an anomaly, albeit a very welcome one while it lasted. Despite the valuable work that they do, few housing providers would consider themselves charities and indeed would not expect charitable discounts from any of their other suppliers.
As mentioned in this month’s article, one unforeseen by-product of the discounts was that they made many housing providers overly reliant on Microsoft products, without considering that, like most discounts, they might not last forever.
If there is a silver lining to this particular cloud, this change might mean that IT departments look at their applications and infrastructures more closely and work out what they really need and from which technology supplier, resulting in leaner and more efficient IT services.