Posted on January 28, 2019 by staff

Brexit uncertainty ‘delays £27bn of IT projects’


Businesses in the UK have hit the pause button on more than £27 billion worth of IT, digital and technology projects as they wait on the outcome of Brexit, it is claimed.

Opinium surveyed 504 business leaders for business internet service provider Beaming during the week in which MPs rejected Theresa May’s Brexit deal.

The results indicated that almost a third (31 per cent) of companies in the UK have put IT initiatives on hold due to Brexit uncertainty, which would amount to 1.7 million businesses when applied across the nation.

Around half (53 per cent) of SMEs in the UK and more than two thirds (77 per cent) of larger organisations have put at least one IT project on hold pending the outcome of Brexit.

Almost a third (29 per cent) of micro businesses have also pressed the pause button on IT initiatives.

Technology companies were the most likely to have paused projects due to Brexit, with 81 per cent of firms in the industry saying they had put investments on hold. Other sectors with significant numbers of paused projects include financial services (68 per cent), education (64 per cent), construction (60 per cent) and manufacturing (57 per cent).

“Regardless of the rights and wrongs of Brexit, it has become clear that the political stalemate in Westminster is creating uncertainty and affecting investment,” said Sonia Blizzard, managing director of Beaming.

“Whatever happens, businesses need to communicate and ensure systems are resilient, and we are seeing spending to improve essentials such as connectivity and cyber security.”

One firm which believes it has been affected by Brexit is Senseye.

The Southampton firm’s self-learning algorithms are used by industrial organisations to automate analysis of machine condition and prioritise maintenance activities.

While the VC-backed business has grown from 30 to 50 people over the last year and signed contracts with several large manufacturers around the world, its founder and CEO Simon Kampa believes that “adoption in the UK has undoubtedly been affected by Brexit”.

“We’re talking to several major manufacturers here that would like to trial Senseye but are unwilling to commit to new innovation projects without more certainty around their European supply chains and export outlook,” he said.

“We are growing despite this, in part by focusing on export markets, both in Europe and further afield.

“If they don’t get that certainty there is a real danger that global manufacturers will opt to invest more in their factories located outside of the UK.”