Brexit uncertainty puts digital transformation on hold

Around 94% of UK businesses say Brexit has impacted on IT decision making


New research has found that 90% of UK businesses are optimistic about growth over the next 10 months, although the vast majority also said the Brexit vote has impacted their decisions for IT investments, with some freezing budgets entirely. 

A report released this week by cloud and network provider Interoute revealed that 63% of British firms are planning for significant growth over the next year, while a further 27%, although taking a conservative outlook, also expect to grow.

However 96% of firms agreed that the current economic climate, coupled with the fallout from the vote to the leave the European Union, has made IT investments difficult. Around 40% said that Brexit made them nervous to invest in any long-term IT projects, while a further 38% said it has forced to them to adopt cloud-based solutions to allow for flexibility in their decision making.

In the survey of 120 UK businesses, only 6% felt that the Brexit vote and the current economic climate have had no impact on IT decisions.

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Digital transformation seems to have been hit the hardest, as the majority of firms (52%) believe the changing political landscape has made it difficult to invest and achieve long-term aims. While 24% said they were actively pursuing digital transformation initiatives, almost as many (23%) said they had cancelled at least one transformation project, with a further 18% putting budgets on hold entirely.

There is some good news, however, as the survey found that the majority of businesses remain optimistic about the change, taking it as an opportunity to invest in new infrastructures. Over 60% said they were developing new infrastructures to accommodate for the uncertainty and remain competitive, the majority of which includes migrating a significant portion of business activities to the cloud.

Commenting on the study, Interoute CTO Matthew Finnie said: "This study proves that most British enterprises are proactively making technology decisions and are prepared to pivot quickly to remain competitive in the face of a changing and uncertain market."

"This requires an ICT infrastructure that enables, not inhibits, change. Rather than handcuffing an organisation to a specific vendor or inflexible infrastructure choice, it is about ensuring the platform and provider you choose gives you the freedom to change and adapt as the market does."

The majority of businesses surveyed (73%) also expressed the importance of full integration between the cloud and network, yet 52% said they faced significant challenges when trying to integrate legacy systems, which remains a key priority for most digital transformation projects.

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