"There can be no definitive answer to the question of whether an independent Scotland would be more prosperous, less prosperous or as prosperous as Scotland is now." So said the House of Lords Select Economic Affairs Committee in its analysis of the potential for Scottish independence last year.
Well, the votes have been cast, and the die has rolled.
Five million people must now roll on home and back to work, after six months of Alex Salmond and Alastair Darling going head to head to win hearts and minds, and the concomitant commiseration and celebration.
But things will never be the same. So what might help Scotland become an even better place to live, work and play - especially for the IT channel?
Stuart Little, director of Lanarkshire IT provider ProVista, says the issue of Scottish independence has split the population, with many people struggling to find out the facts.
"It may be that Scotland might be better off independent but there are too many unanswered questions, variables and risks for me personally," Little confirms.
However, he agrees that London and the South-East have sucked away too many resources from the rest of the British Isles for too long and that this needs to be addressed. Different regions should get more appropriate powers, with medium and long-term policies developed and implemented that balance things out.
"People in all regions need to feel closer to government and benefit equally no matter where they live," Little says. "Scotland's best asset is its people and we need to retain them and keep them in Scotland with education and high-quality jobs that are protected and created."
The original Act of Union of 1707 was a financial bailout, as Scotland had become bankrupt after the Darien Scheme to create colonies. "Initially it must have been good," Little says. "But I have no idea if today we would have been better off independent."
In the 1980s, Scotland certainly struggled, along with the rest of the UK, as traditional heavy industry withered. Little agrees that Alba is in better shape today - although there remains an urgent need for investment and SMBs in particular need more support.
"We have never totally replaced or recovered from that [industrial] loss. So I would say we could have done better over the past 20 to 30 years," he says. "Scottish business needs to work together with the full support of whatever government we have to ensure growth and success. Politicians need to engage and listen to business and ensure any decisions made will help and not hinder."
He notes that some parts of England probably have similar issues - if not worse - than Scotland has had. However, unlike Scotland, they've had little opportunity for redress.
Alan O'Connor, group managing director of Fifeshire-based AOC Group Queensway Data Centres, agrees generally that work on Scottish economic policy and investment, henceforth, is critical. Heavy industry has indeed suffered in recent decades - although an expanding services sector has replaced some of the revenue.
"[Yet] campaigners have played on people's emotions and there are too many flags being waved. Important questions about a devolved Scotland's financial situation largely remain unanswered," O'Connor notes.
Scotland needs a good, solid IT infrastructure and the outcome of the vote does not change this. In particular, the public sector should make more use of shared services for the economies of scale, while taking "radical steps" to cover the Scottish deficit and ensure the country can pay its way, he says.
"It will be important for everyone to remember this was a democratic vote and not to become divided or let political views interfere with everyday life. Scotland is a friendly nation and an extremely attractive place for both business and tourism.
"The Scots are resilient and entrepreneurial, and ministers should be channelling more resources into identifying our strengths and developing action plans."
Pre-referendum 'Yes' campaigners appeared to largely steer clear of some issues, preferring to focus on oil resources, whether Scotland might keep the pound, keeping decision-making local, and welfare, important issues but not themselves exhaustively covered.
O'Connor agrees that independence, and resulting fragmentation, can end up becoming something of a slippery slope.
"Which, frankly, is something we can do without," O'Connor says.
"The SNP looks at Norway as an example of how Scotland would be after independence, but miss some important facts: when Norway voted on independence in 1814, the financial depression that followed was the worst on record.
"It has taken 200 years for Norway to get to where it is today. And take a look at Norway's inflation figures over the past decade.
"There's an old song sung in parts of Scotland: ‘When I have a couple of drinks on a ,Glasgow belongs to me.' Let's pray that's not at ￡9 a pint any time soon."
Darren Farnden, head of marketing at Telford, Shropshire-based Entanet, says more IT infrastructure and connectivity investment must continue and is required.
"Scotland has a diverse and sometimes challenging natural geography, with some of the most remote and isolated communities," he explains. "We wonder if a Universal Services Obligation north of the border would encourage or maybe even force a commitment for the rest of the UK to be upgraded to an obligation covering potentially faster speeds."
If costs go up in Scotland, businesses and consumers may choose to move or be served from other regions. This becomes an issue whether you're talking devolution or true independence, and can cover everything from T&Cs to contract clauses, data retention, privacy and taxation, Farnden says.
"If such ‘complications' arise, any incurred costs are likely to be passed on to the end user," he says. "The recent uncertainty has shaken some organisations such as the banks and some Scottish companies."
So Farnden would like to see a Scotland with an open market for connectivity, enabling a good mix of ISPs both inside and outside Scotland competing to deliver quality, fast services across the country. This is a crucial building block to allow Scotland-based businesses to thrive and grow and encourage further innovation and investment, he suggests.
No one knows the exact route ahead, although ‘yes' or ‘no' votes both incorporated a chance for Scotland to acquire more power to chart its own course. Many of those currently disappointed with the referendum result may not remain so in the long term, no matter which way they voted on the day.
The Scottish government itself makes clear in a pre-referendum Q&A: "The sort of country we become will be up to the people of Scotland. Scotland has the wealth it needs to be a fairer country. We are one of the richest nations on the planet and could choose to use that wealth in a different way."
Even before the referendum, the government was pushing for more sustainable economic growth and more job opportunities, through initiatives including the Small Business Bonus Scheme, investment banking, and investment in infrastructure.
More work will need to go into developing new markets, in all industries. Most agree that inequality must be tackled, with regional needs considered and supported in a more positive way.
We continue to live in interesting times - but at least there is a little more certainty today than there was a few days ago.
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