Three and a half years ago (yes, it really has been that long) with a vote of 51% leaning, just, in favour of the Brexiteers, it was ‘officially’ announced that Britain would be leaving the EU. Many protests, debates, and discussions later, a deal has still not been made and in the lead up to a new general election, politicians are still fighting it out to make their promises on what will happen with Brexit if they get in power.
With this in mind, it’s vital to consider what may happen to the $4 trillion global tech industry if Britain does actually leave the EU. Two areas of tech that may be more affected because of Brexit are cybersecurity and datacentres due to the reliance on European provider firms.
Michel Barnier, the chief negotiator on Brexit at the European Commission has already spoken of the UK’s need to continue its partnership with Europe in working on key areas of cybersecurity, whatever the outcome.
In discussing this point, Ilia Kolochenko, founder and CEO of web security company ImmuniWeb has commented: “Unhindered and unimpeded cybercrime data exchange is indeed crucial both for the UK and EU. Most governmental agencies may require a crystal-clear legal framework to proceed after Brexit, especially when the information involves legally-protected data or cases of criminal prosecution.”
Kolochenko also adds that he is confident that whatever the outcome of Brexit, a resolution will be found. He adds: “Given the essential role British law enforcement agencies play in the continental fight with cybercrime, I am pretty confident a solution will emerge in a timely manner. In any case, private parties and cybersecurity companies will likely have a safe harbour to cooperate even before formal agreements are inked.”
The impact that Brexit is having on businesses is already causing stress and relationships between firms are also feeling the strain. Massimo Bandinelli, Marketing Manager, Cloud & Data Centre, Aruba Enterprise talks of how when looking at the tech sector, with specific focus on the data centre, there are various considerations. One of these is making sure that businesses remain compliant with regulations.
He adds: “There are also cost considerations. Data centres consume a lot of energy and because the UK imports a lot of its energy, its price is expected to rise due to new tariffs. Typically, data centre costs are mainly based on ‘cost per megawatt’ usage and with this price set to increase for UK providers, this will play a key factor for organisations when they are considering whether to base their infrastructures in the UK or elsewhere in Europe.”
“Aruba Enterprise has a number of high-profile UK customers that rely on our Global Cloud Data Centre campus for services including private cloud, cloud back-ups, dedicated servers and colocation services. The state-of-the-art data centre campus is connected to the main national and international carriers with its own dark fiber infrastructure, providing a dual path to the Milan Internet eXchange (MIX) with virtually unlimited transmission capacity. This is vital for companies that will want to move their data from the UK and locate it in the EU after Brexit.” The marketing manager added.
Working with European companies
Bandinelli continued to add that there is a clear global approach to take on the cloud, this includes UK firms wanting to use European firms in their cloud adoption.
With things like cloud and cybersecurity playing such a big role in any business, perhaps the tech industry needs to start preparing for Brexit more than was first anticipated.