Save money on your application portfolio - Case study

Using software

Bristol City Council in the UK reported expected savings of 60% on switching office application provider. Can your organisation make similar software cost savings?

If you are in the process of purchasing new software, upgrading existing software, or renewing annual licences or support arrangements, now is a good time to review whether there are other alternatives that would provide better value for money.

To assess the comparative value for money of an alternative solution, a business case should be constructed that helps you to assess not only direct product / service costs but also other costs and benefits such as training, productivity, reliability, cost avoidance, etc. Bristol City Council documented their approach to building a business case, which makes a useful resource for anyone else considering making a similar change.
One possible source of alternative solutions is the large body of free open source software. This would at first appear to provide excellent value and depending on the other elements of the business case this may well be the case. Open Source software is generally recognised to be reliable and of high quality.

Open source software can be used alongside commercial software, so the choice is not 'all or nothing'. Examples of this are commercial databases running on open source operating systems (specific operating system versions and flavours are likely to be certified by the vendor) and using Open Office office software suite with Windows.
It is also possible to obtain commercial support services for open source software. These can be sourced on the open market, and providers, who are not tied to a particular software vendor, are able to provide competitive services.

It may be that the most suitable application for a particular circumstance is an alternate commercial provider, however substantial cost savings may still be possible compared with the software being used currently.