UK IT suppliers will be mulling over the costs and benefits of Scotland remaining part of the union today, with many seeing it as a potential lost opportunity for new sales.
In the early hours of this morning as votes were totted up, it emerged the 'No' campaign was victorious after 55 per cent of Scottish voters opted not to leave the union.
The news has been welcomed by some in the channel after many feared independence could wreak havoc with public sector deals which are already in place across the UK.
Analyst TechMarketView said government suppliers will no longer have to worry about slicing up contracts.
"Suppliers into the public sector can take comfort that their Scottish contracts will not be chopped and changed or turned into political footballs, at least for the time being," said research director Peter Roe. "[There were] sighs of relief all around the currency markets, Downing Street and many areas of business."
Earlier this year, the Treasury estimated it would cost about £400m to create a new IT system just for an independent Scotland's welfare system. Reseller MTI – which is headquartered in Godalming but has an office in Livingston – said a 'Yes' vote could have prompted a flurry of new contract wins.
"Having spoken to a number of public sector bodies in the run-up to the referendum, what was interesting was that a number of them claimed [a 'Yes' vote] would accelerate their spending and budget for programmes and projects," said MTI's senior vice president for sales Ian Parslow (pictured).
He added that MTI had a contingency plan if the 'Yes' campaign had won, but insisted MTI would have continued to thrive in the country either way.
John Morrison, managing director of reseller Sapphire – which has offices across London as well as one in Stirling – agreed that a 'Yes' vote could have scored his firm lots of new deals.
"A 'Yes' vote would have without doubt increased the business opportunity for us in Scotland," he said. "We are well known after well over a decade of trading out of our Stirling office so I would hope we would have been part of securing new infrastructure, a new legal system, a new Ministry of Defence and so on, not to mention setting up a Scottish GCHQ."
He added that issues of currency and taxation would have been worked out over time and joked that an independent Scotland could have boosted his firm's profile.
"It may have been a nice marketing spin to announce our new ‘international' office if there was a 'Yes' vote," he said.
London-based SMB IT consulting firm Coeus Consulting's director Ben Barry said the IT issues thrown up by a divorce from the UK would have been "costly and complex".
"Scotland may have been legally outside the EU for a period of time and, therefore, it would have created significant legal challenges around outsourcing contracts and data-processing agreements, with the potential of even having to go through the complexities of repatriating data to originating countries," he said.
"Other significant challenges in the event of a 'Yes' vote could have been the separation and change in enterprise resource planning systems to cope with differing tax and potential currency changes.
"The 'No' vote has also avoided the need for an independent Scottish government to set up new health and welfare systems."
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