An Uncertain Future or Brave New World?

Following the unexpected vote in the UK EU Referendum we have been gathering opinion from channel players on their views of the outcome and howthey see the future being shaped for a post-Brexit Britain.

Like many amateur psephologists I was up most of the night on June 23 absorbed in the minutia of the outcome of the UK EU Referendum vote. That was not the plan however when voting early in the morning as we were due to be in London until around 1.00am on the Friday morning. However the ridiculous weather that day disrupted trains so badly that we didn’t even try to get to and from the Hackney Empire where we had tickets to see a play on the life of Marvin Gaye. No matter, the BBC put on a great show!

As the polls closed at 10.00pm the pound was on a high in anticipation of a Remain vote and the UKIP leader had already ‘conceded’ defeat. The BBC has become a better forecaster of voting outcomes than most pollster firms in recent times and I knew when the first result came in that Nigel had thrown the towel in way too early.

I was still watching when David Dimbleby made the announcement, sometime before six in the morning, that the vote had done the way of the Leavers. And at that point all the reaction and comment starting pouring in and Comms Business Magazine’s in box started filling up with channel comment.

Up till that point we had already experienced a steady flow pre-vote commentary from the channel so it was only to be expected that the volume would increase, particularly given the unexpected outcome.

So here we have, in date order, what we believe to be a representative collection of comments gathered between 24 June and 8 July. It’s likely that these comments contain an element of ‘knee-jerk’ in them given the time period as it was clear on the day after the vote that this story had legs and that events were going to play out over a very long period of time.

Matt Hunt, CEO of Apadmi Enterprise, a UK app developer.

“With the impending Brexit, there is now a high level of risk and uncertainty over our future and questions are being asked as to how will we be able to build on our success and further grow without the support of the EU.”
Ed Relf, CEO, Laundrapp, a London based start-up.

“In true start-up spirit we’ve truly jumped off the cliff and now it’s down to a ‘United’ Kingdom to build the parachute on the way down! Although not a decision I agree with personally, it’s important to unite around the majority democratic decision and focus on what’s important now, which is making Britain even greater! Today is truly Start-up Britain and with change comes immense opportunity especially for start-ups like Laundrapp, which need to continually evolve to survive.”

Daniel Reilly, co-founder at Ruler Analytics, a visitor level marketing analytics and call tracking solution provider, said:

“Here at Ruler Analytics we are disappointed in the vote to leave the EU. However, the digital marketing sector is one of the most resilient and growing sectors of recent times. Whilst there are a number of negatives to leaving the EU there are also many positives for an industry that has no borders.

We certainly don’t think this change will affect the ability to recruit skilled labour from abroad, nor do we believe this will cause a shortage of jobs within a constantly developing and evolving market place. We are a serviced-based financial economy, which is driven by a great infrastructure of both education and training, and this has allowed us to be at the forefront of digital, and will continue to do so for many years to come.”

Screen Shot 2016-07-26 at 15.27.15Aftab Afzal, SVP & GM EMEA at NSFOCUS IB

“Brexit will have impact on the industry as a whole. However it is too early to speculate on this being positive or negative. The coming weeks and months will be a telling time. Cyber security is a global challenge and not EU specific. With the vote being so close, the unrest will translate into some increased cyber attacks and organisations at the forefront should take extra caution. As many cyber security vendors report dollar revenues, currency market volatility could see some prices increased.

I do not foresee any big changes short term in cross border collaboration in cyber security. Longer term, the vendors with global research teams who contribute to intelligence communities will play a bigger role in cooperation, as cyber security has always been a global issue.

GDPR is just one of many compliance drivers that ensure sensitive and personal data is handled with care. Compliance is born from best practices and when or if the UK mandates a new data policy, the main tenants of GDPR will no doubt be considered as the Government has to ensure the public safety, both physically and virtually.”

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Simon Marrion, EMEA Regional Director at Scale Computing

“There is no need for businesses to panic. In the short term Britain will still be governed by EU law and I think the markets and currency will stabilise over the near term as the political landscape settles. What some people don’t realise is that over the last 40 years, the UK and continental Europe have moved much closer together anyway, so the changes will be smaller than initially thought. Customers may have some initial concerns about data protection and locality but we believe we will see very little change in terms of data laws. So, it’s business as usual.”

Nigel Tozer, Solutions Marketing Director, EMEA, Commvault

Screen Shot 2016-07-26 at 15.26.41“The renegotiations of the safe harbour agreement created a lot of uncertainty for businesses, and many organisations chose to repatriate data as a precaution. It also forced some service providers to commission new data centres in case there wasn’t a broadly accepted outcome. Now, Britain’s exit from the EU (Brexit) means the same situation could occur again but across three parties. This time between data sovereignty in Britain and Europe and the US, and vice versa. As the changes won’t be immediate, there is still time to prepare by choosing data management software that is cloud agnostic, then you can migrate and move data easily, and effectively to wherever it needs to be; no lock-in, no extra cost, no hassle.”

Peter Godden, VP of EMEA, Zerto

“Now that Britain’s EU exit is no longer a what if scenario but a stark reality, it reinforces the critical need for organisations in all sectors and of all sizes to take a closer look at how they can ensure uninterrupted operations. By using BC/DR as a key part of their IT strategy, organisations can improve their IT resiliency, giving them the ability to pivot and dynamically react to such a profound geopolitical and economic sea change.
Companies should carefully assesses their IT infrastructure to validate that their systems are ready for any disruption that the changing political landscape might cause. Now that Brexit is a reality, companies may find themselves needing to move their data into or out of Britain to align with new compliance regulations, which will truly shine a light on the importance of BC/DR software as many will struggle to manage mission critical data across disparate systems without experiencing downtime.”

Screen Shot 2016-07-26 at 15.27.10Craig Joseph, Chief Operating Officer at cloud distributor intY, comments:

“Our partners will not face an increase in prices for our monthly cloud services following Brexit. With our existing and future cloud distribution business model, we have no borders. Since our inception, we have guaranteed a low-risk currency model where our pricing is set and traded in the currency that most suits our partners. We can reassure our partners that if they wish to trade in Pound Sterling, Euros or US dollars, we will continue to sell in those local currencies.

We are not in the business of hedging bets on currency; we are in the business of selling cloud software. Our customers can feel confident that prices will remain stable during this turbulent time.”

Ed Says… Brexit: it’s the biggest topic of conversation not just in the UK, but throughout Europe. There’s no crystal ball that will show us the future and it will be down us to manage the way ahead ourselves. Note: All commentators affirmed they were eligible to vote in the referendum.

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David Dungay

Editor - Comms Business Magazine