Council budgets are slashed but finances increase as many local councils face rising costs and expensive audits with for their Oracle database software.
A recent Freedom of Information (FOI) request commissioned by TmaxSoft has found local councils are increasingly being subjected to expensive audit processes, lengthy software licenses and increasing costs for their Oracle database software.
Already facing increased financial pressures, many are finding that many local councils are struggling to deliver crucial services to the community as a result.
The FOI act revealed that of those councils questioned 92% are currently using Oracle’s software with over 32% of organisations stating that their spend on Oracle has increased by 20% over the last two years. Moreover 2% said their spending had increased over 100% to what it started out at.
In numerical terms a fifth of UK councils admitted they had spent over £100,000 or more on Oracle software in the last two years, but even more shockingly a minute 2% spent well over £500,000.
As the complexity of auditing software increasing it adds more financial pressure onto these local organisations, leaving those with little budgetary or personnel resources struggling to ensure they are always complying with Oracle’s licensing terms.
However with only 5% of council have had an Oracle audit over the last year, meaning a large majority of the country may not know if they are in breach or not unknowing whether they face hefty costs in the future.
Carl Davies, UK CEO at TmaxSoft said: “It is, of course, the responsibility of the council to make sure that it adheres to the terms of its software licenses but, with Oracle auditing just 5% of councils per year, there is a real risk that some cash-strapped local authorities may be operating outside of the remit of their software licenses without knowing it.
Further findings revealed that many councils are tied into long standing license agreement, with a fifth having licenses lasting over four years and just under half (43%) between one and two years.
Davies said: “Many councils find themselves operating within an opaque, rigid licensing system, where they often do not know exactly what they are paying for and how many licenses they need.
“All too often, local councils find themselves navigating complex licensing terms, convoluted pricing structures and legacy technology, which can increase costs and distract IT departments from the fundamental task of enabling service delivery, forcing them to prepare for arbitrary software audits, pay for infrastructure they’re not using due to restrictive licensing agreements and spend time integrating these databases with new technology.”
Those councils who have been found to not adhere to the licensing terms could have expensive repercussions as councils may be forced to purchase further licenses from Oracle, leaving councils in a sticky situation of financial difficulty.
The FOI was sent to 75 councils, with 60 responding to the research request by TmaxSoft.