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Admins Angry at Attempted Anarchy - Microsoft planning to give Office 365 users ability to bypass their admins and buy their own addons


  • Admins Angry at Attempted Anarchy - Microsoft planning to give Office 365 users ability to bypass their admins and buy their own addons




    The Register



    Microsoft is planning to give users the ability to purchase their own Office 365 licenses without any administrative oversight. Office 365 admins are obviously outraged.




    Microsoft has defended a policy decision for its "Power platform" – part of Office 365 – to let end users bypass Office 365 admins and make their own licence purchases. The change (which is now scheduled for 19 November) lets users within an Office 365 organisation purchase their own licences for PowerBI, PowerApps and Flow. Microsoft sees this as empowering business users. "As a result of digital transformation, traditional roles are changing," the company said. The intent of the self-service purchase option is to enable users to develop their own solutions to unlock productivity and drive business impact, while respecting organizations’ data governance and compliance." Coincidentally this will also enable the company to pitch these solutions directly to end users, bypassing IT admins who may be more cautious, perhaps less willing to accommodate the extra cost, or concerned about enthusiast users developing solutions that are not as robust or reliable as professional efforts. The new self-service capability will not be available to government, nonprofit or education tenancies, Microsoft said, and there are no current plans to extend it to other Office 365 services. Payment must be by credit card and cannot be invoiced later. Why are admins not able to disable this self-service feature? That is the key question, and Microsoft claimed only that "we're being responsive to our customers who have requested this capability", adding that "organizations can rely on their own internal policies, procedures and communications to ensure that those individuals making self-service purchases are complying with company policies". Microsoft said that "IT departments and partners aren't expected to provide support for products bought through self-service purchase. Microsoft will provide standard support for self-service purchasers." In practice, though, users may well channel queries to their internal IT support and this is something Microsoft cannot control. A Uservoice feedback request to add the ability to block self-service purchases has already attracted over 2,500 votes. Microsoft could defuse this pushback by leaving the self-service capability in place, but implementing this request to give admins a way to prevent it. Currently the company is in effect stating that it knows better than IT admins what is best for their users. That this move is unpopular with those admins is unsurprising.


    My Thoughts:

    Haha, yes, give the users the ability to buy their own software. No user has ever violated company policy or requested software they didn't actually need. I personally don't see any possible why this could go wrong. Sarcasm aside, it is a bad idea to give any plain old Office 365 user access to buy whatever enterprise licenses they want. I surely hope Microsoft changes their mind and allows Businesses to actually manage their own employees and software instead of allowing this anarchy.

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