Scarborough Council agrees to spending £60,000 on IT software

Scarborough Council’s leader has agreed to spend an extra £60,000 to renew the authority’s licences to use Microsoft products and applications.

A total of 189,000 had been set aside for ICT replacement in the 2019 budget.

The council’s licence to use products was due to expire at the end of June and the price of the renewal has risen “significantly”, according to a new report.

The deal allows the council to use a range of Microsoft products, including Microsoft Windows Operating Systems, Office suite (Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Access), Microsoft Exchange email and calendar server, Microsoft Outlook email and calendar client software and Microsoft Windows Server Operating Systems.

A report, written by the council’s ICT manager Greg Harper, says that since the last time Scarborough renewed the contact Microsoft has increased the cost of licences by more than 22%.

Discounts made available to public sector organisations have also been reduced or removed entirely, leading to an increased cost against budget.

This has left the council needing to find an extra £60,000 to cover the cost.

Mr Harper’s report adds: “The new licensing agreement will reduce the requirement to replace IT application and file servers on premise and will instead utilise Cloud technologies. Base budget contributions into the Council’s ICT Fund (part of the Capital Development Reserve) can therefore be reduced as there will no longer be the requirement to replace some of the hardware included within the replacement programme.

“This saving of £32,000 per annum will be used to partially offset the increase in cost.”

The council will take £18,000 from a section of its budget set up to cover cost rises due to inflation but the remaining £10,000 will have to come from the 2020/21 budget.

A total of £189,000 had been set aside for “ICT replacement” in the 2019 budget.

The decision to allocate the extra money was taken by leader of the council Cllr Steve Siddons (Lab). The decision was due to go to cabinet but was unable to do so following the cancellation of May’s meeting.