It’s quite amazing, how a lot of things can change in 5 years. It’s even more amazing when a government policy over 5 years about, gets reversed in dramatic fashion. I should know as my career in ICT took a dramatic turn in 2012 when Government announced a sweeping policy to ditch Microsoft technology and rather embrace open source technology. That policy has now been reviewed and re-visited, leading to unbelievable results!
A deal between National Treasury and Microsoft has been signed that could see government making “significant savings” to the national fiscus.
Weighing in on the news headline, The South African department of Treasury issued a statement recently, indicating that the contract between the two parties as well as the State Information Technology Agency (Sita) is for government-wide software licences and services. The Microsoft product and services will be used within all spheres of government.
This is part of an effort by the ministry of finance, Treasury and the Office of the Chief Procurement Officer (OCPO) to implement “greater efficiency” in government procurement. This announcement is a reversal of the Open Source government policy which was instituted by Government over 5 years ago.
The savings from this partnership will contribute towards “fiscal stability” stated Treasury. Among the benefits of the agreement include special pricing on Microsoft licences and services. Smaller government entities can now have full access to Microsoft products and services. Government will also have access to Microsoft’s “top technical skills”, at reduced rates. Organs of state can also make use of hybrid or cloud licencing solutions.