Uncertainty has spread across the country since the UK voted to leave the EU last week.
The pound slumped significantly and the channel braced itself for price rises as a result. On top of this, analyst Canalys claimed the UK IT market could slump 15 per cent this year because of Brexit, and onlookers said the UK will still have to abide by the incoming GDPR rules, even if the country leaves before they come fully into force.
But among the doom and gloom, some channel players and experts have said there are some positives to focus on.
Broadening channel horizons
While trading with Europe might become more difficult amid Brexit uncertainty, UK firms could benefit if they broaden their horizons, according to Stuart Fenton, CEO of QuantiQ.
"If you think about the UK in general, it is a very resilient country and it's a very entrepreneurial country and in general it's been a trading nation," he said. "The positive is, I think what companies will do is stop thinking about Europe, and start thinking more globally.
"We were very far down the line looking at European activities in terms of expansion and it has made us pause and look at Canada, the US, Asia and India as markets we should consider. If Europe is going to be a less favourable environment with less favourable employment laws and rules, and with a depressed market, then let's think more globally.
"There will be 27 countries which will become less easy to do business with, but another 165 countries that we weren't thinking about which we should be thinking about more seriously."
On Friday morning, sterling fell to its lowest level in 30 years. According to XE.com data, at 5pm on Thursday evening, while polling stations were still open, £1 was worth $1.48, but 12 hours later – when Brexit strongly appeared to be on the cards – it fell to $1.34. Yesterday, the value fell again to $1.32, but has climbed slightly since (to 11am 28 June).
Because the UK channel tends to buy in dollars and sell in pounds, resellers and disties prepared for price hikes across the board from American vendors.
The currency fluctuations could create a chink of light for firms which export products, according to Quocirca analyst Clive Longbottom, although he stressed this positive might only be negligible.
"The only positive is, because of the fall in the pound, our exports are cheaper," he said. "The problem is, to make our exports, we have to bring in so much in terms of componentry, raw materials and assembly from abroad. And because of the weakness in the pound, [those prices] have gone up. So overall, the chances of our being able to say we can sell what we're making at 11 per cent cheaper than before are zero. We might be able to drop the price by one or two per cent."
UK cloud firms
The drop in sterling could also be a bonus for UK-based IT firms, according to Kable's chief analyst Jessica Figueras.
"UK-headquartered suppliers might do better if they are competing with overseas companies," she said. "So, for example, because of the drop in sterling, UK cloud providers might start to look a bit more competitive."
Challenges become opportunities
The IT industry is certainly used to change and keeping up with the times, with the fast-moving nature of technology ensuring that no successful company stands still for too long.
This means that the channel will be better placed than other firms to deal with the changes brought about by Brexit, and crucially, how to turn them into opportunities.
Richard Dorf, CEO at PXtech, said: "With all change comes opportunity, as well as risk. Like all good businesses, we will look to make the most of those opportunities, by making our solutions and services more important than ever to the success of our customers and partners. As always, the organisations that understand and react to this will be the ones that will be successful."
QuantiQ's Fenton said remaining calm is essential at the moment.
"The most important thing right now is not to make knee-jerk reactions and to think of how you're going to adapt the business to this new reality, considering we have no idea what it will look like exactly," he said.
"We merely have to adapt our processes. Yes it's going to be a bit clumsy, but there will still be lots of people attracted to working and living in the UK. That isn't going to change, ever."
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