IT leaders hit by 'Brexit paralysis', says Avanade

Industry has failed to make plans for UK's EU exit according to survey


Digital transformation efforts are being harmed by 'Brexit paralysis', as senior IT leaders fail to make plans for the UK's EU exit, Avanade has warned.

According to the company's poll of 100 senior IT decision makers, almost half of them have no plans for adjusting their IT strategy in response to Brexit. This is in spite of the fact that nearly 70% report that they are very concerned about Brexit's potential impact.

Topping the list of concerns for IT leaders is the plummeting value of the pound, which over three-quarters of respondents fear will force them to cut costs and streamline. Two-thirds are also worried about a lack of skilled staff as stricter immigration laws come into force.

Another key concern is data protection and sovereignty. Cloud is already one of the top three priorities for more than half of IT decision makers, but the looming spectre of GDPR adds an extra layer of urgency to the issue. A report by Blue Coat last year revealed that just 2% of cloud apps are GDPR-ready, which could spell huge fines for businesses.

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"Nothing kills a business faster than inertia," said Avanade's UK general manager, Darren Hardman. "Brexit has put the spotlight on certain specific issues, but the fundamental requirement for digital transformation remains the same."

"The clock is ticking, and the 41% of IT decision makers who are slowing down their IT investments should be looking nervously at the 56% of their peers who say they are accelerating," he added. 

The looming spectre of Brexit doesn't necessarily spell doom for the IT industry though, as more than 65% of surveyed IT leaders said that they believed they could gain a competitive advantage if they navigated Brexit correctly.

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