Now That a Brexit Deal is Done, What’s Next for the UK Channel?

By | Managed Services News

Feb 26

There’s an Increased need for virtual services and video conferencing, and a focus on security moving forward.

TBI's Geoff Shepstone

Geoff Shepstone

It’s been several months since a Brexit deal was reached and nothing devastating has occurred within the IT channel, the way some predicted. Yet that doesn’t mean companies shouldn’t be prepared for changes to come.

The primary impact of Brexit, over the past four years, has been FUD (Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt). Currency, billing and data security concerns drove this situation, as did talk of runaway shipment delays and potential price increases. Now that transition terms have been agreed upon, however, it seems these worries were largely unfounded. It’s time for organizations to feel more confident moving forward with planned projects.

There are structural reasons for channel partners to be optimistic. Regulations regarding cross-border data transfers may yet develop, but given the prevalence of cloud technologies, those regulations should not significantly alter infrastructure decisions. Even when hardware is involved, such as with SD-WAN installs, most equipment can be sourced and delivered in-region, reducing the impact of any new tariffs that are imposed. Let’s take a look at the real impacts of Brexit on the U.K. channel:

Biggest Brexit Fears Will Be Unfounded

Many experts in the Brexit deliberations expected the outcome to resemble a Y2K situation. Those who were around at that time remember the dire predictions of stuck lorries, ships that couldn’t pass from port to port, closed borders, crashes in the electrical grid, and even food shortages. None of it came to pass.

Brexit had its own share of calamitous prophecies. Companies would migrate from the U.K. to Europe by the hundreds, the economy would screech to a halt and trade chaos would ensue. Something far less apocalyptic lies ahead. Vendors in each region have the resources to provide customers with all kinds of support, from export and logistics capabilities to invoicing in multiple currencies.

Master agencies have appeared ready to help U.K. and EU resellers, distributors and vendors through the transition. At TBI Inc. specifically, we have offices in both regions that can address local or regional concerns as well as allow us to pay commissions in British pounds, euros or U.S. dollars. Master agencies will need this duality to best support both U.K. and EU parties moving forward.

Managed Services and Enterprise Software Will Grow in UK Channel

U.K. customers, in many ways, should see benefits to Brexit as their country transitions away from the EU. Advanced enterprise software products will help in this regard by enabling new systems and processes. These products will help organizations deal with changing requirements, particularly during the Q2/Q3 time frame of 2021. They will be of help in improving supply chain activity; satisfying data privacy, security and residency rules; and ensuring business continuity.

Managed services may benefit the most from the post-Brexit era. Changes in the availability of talent, due to the complexities of work visas and the changing attitudes toward business travel, will impact many IT specialties. Coding, cloud computing, machine learning, software engineering, blockchain, cybersecurity and artificial intelligence (AI) will be better served through managed solutions. Difficulties in finding local specialists in fintech, health care and other segments will also increase the need for virtual alternatives.

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