IT firms supplying the government could be hit harder by Brexit than those in other areas, according to an analyst, which describes the move as a "shot through the head" for new public tech projects.
On Friday, it emerged that 52 per cent of voters want to leave the EU, a decision which saw the value of sterling against the dollar plummet to a 30-year low, with figures remaining volatile today.
In light of the immediate currency issues, analyst Canalys told the channel to expect prices to increase quickly, and general uncertainty for months to come.
Analyst Quocirca's founder Clive Longbottom today told CRN he agrees, and that the public sector could be hit harder than most.
"I think we will see a lot of general customer plans being put on hold as they try to figure out what it means to them as a business and we will see a sharp downturn in activity in the market," he said. "But for the public sector specifically, we've now got a government which is going through not only austerity but also a case of the screaming abdabs, everything falling out of their arse, and they're saying 'we didn't expect this to happen'!"
He added that Brexit will most certainly put the brakes on any new IT project.
"Any technology project in the public sector which hasn't started yet is going to be shot through the head," he said. "It's the only way they can look at making the financial aspects of this Brexit match up at all – by cutting and cutting and cutting. If you've got a 1982 PC, you'll carry on using that until 2032."
Some areas of the public sector could be worse hit than others, he said, pointing to education as one area potentially at risk.
"The UK government gets certain funding from the EU for it to use as it sees fit – around fisheries and farming and so on," he said. "When it comes to tech, [extra funding is] only when you're looking in academia. So some of the large high-performance computing projects will have an element of EU funding, anything from a small amount up to the whole lot. As the scientists against Brexit were saying, it's bad news for them."
Jessica Figueras, chief analyst at Kable, told CRN that central government IT suppliers could also be in for a bumpy ride.
"We are staring a period of complete political vacuum which promises to last at least until the party conferences in October," she said. "In that time, it looks vanishingly unlikely that Article 50 will be triggered. There are many months of uncertainty ahead and we expect the civil service is going to put anything new on hold."
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