Brexit and the Cloud

Posted by Jim Zeches on Jan 26, 2017 10:27:18 AM

It dominated the business headlines in 2016.  Now, as all the Brexit talk moves closer to becoming reality, many UK businesses who have adopted cloud, are probably wondering about the effects of a pending departure from the EU.  This is particularly relevant where you consume cloud services from suppliers in another country.

For those considering adopting cloud it raises questions and concerns about whether moving to the cloud is the right move for their business.

To help shed some light on things for businesses in the cloud and those considering it, here are a few things to ponder;

 

Rising Costs

One immediate effect for many UK businesses consuming cloud services from outside the UK has been an increase in the cost of services.  This is due to the decrease in the value of Sterling. 

If billed in Dollars or Euros, the amount on the invoice is the same but it now takes more Pounds to pay the bill.  Even for companies billed in Sterling by UK cloud providers, cost increases are likely to be coming.  This is due to rising prices from global technology companies, like Microsoft, who provide products and services that sit behind many leading cloud solutions.  Microsoft announced late last year that Sterling prices for many of its cloud-based services would be increasing from January 2017 to bring them in-line with prices in other currencies.  Other providers are following suit, which means that UK cloud providers will eventually pass on these increases.     

 

Customer Rights

Another factor to consider is the effect on the supplier/customer relationship.  What will be the impact on customer rights if the cloud supplier is in Europe but the customer is in the UK?  Will there be mechanisms in place to ensure that UK customers retain the same rights under existing contracts?  Only time will tell how this will play out but it is worth understanding what suppliers you have across Europe.

 

Data Sovereignty

For those unfamiliar with the term, it refers to data being subject to the laws of the country in which it is located.  While being part of the EU, UK businesses had the benefit of EU Data Protection legislation.  When the new European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) becomes reality in May 2018, it will supersede individual states laws.   UK businesses will need to ensure they understand the location of their data before Brexit and use this information to evaluate data sovereignty against any compliance obligations.

One thing is certain; there will be many things for UK businesses to be aware of as an exit from the EU comes ever closer to reality. 

 

We would love to hear your thoughts on the impact Brexit is having on your decisions around cloud technology.  Is Brexit going to require you to re-evaluate the cloud services you currently use?  Alternatively, will it hold you back from making the move to the cloud until the dust settles?

 

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Topics: Blog, Cloud Computing, brexit