The decision to leave the EU itself has marked a very significant period for both Britain and the rest of the world - the subsequent changes in prime minister and various political party leaderships to name a few. And yet in a world of uncertainty, it seems only one thing can be guaranteed, there will be no U-turn on this decision, no follow up referendum and that the country's departure from the EU will indeed go ahead.
This needn't be the beginning of the end for the UK however and I for one believe that it can be a period marked with profit rather than pain. Brexit of course brings a lot of uncertainty, but one thing we're able to guarantee is that it will force many to be smarter and more efficient in the way they work. Breaking away from the EU will likely make it more expensive for UK companies to afford to recruit top quality staff - whether that's through British talent becoming more expensive or the need to sponsor the working permits of EU citizens - so outsourcing will become a very viable option. Outsourcing might have, for a while now, been synonymous with cost-cutting, but as British companies look to experience the best talent from foreign shores, it's going to be a lifeline for business leaders wanting to maintain their access to a broad pool of flexible and highly skilled talent at a time when it is most needed. And the thing about outsourcing companies is, they're built to be comfortable with change. They don't get fazed by it and remain robust, agile and buoyant no matter what situation is passed their way.
Once the dust settles on the decision, there's going to be increased competition over contracts and trade agreements. Companies across the UK and Europe will have to drive more efficiencies and compete to secure contracts within new territories. And, in fact, this trend has been validated with several of our larger clients who we have spoken with over the past few weeks. While there is uncertainty about what Brexit means for them in the short run, they remain comfortable about their businesses long term and their plans for outsourcing.
Another significant impact Brexit will have on digital skills within the UK is from a technology perspective. On the one hand, if the evoking of Article 50 does indeed mean an exodus of EU talent from the UK, the cost to hire technology specialists could increase dramatically as the country loses its lower cost services. On the other hand, if the UK installs a points-based immigration system like that of the Australian government, the break from the EU could mean the country turns to recruiting more talent from non-EU countries - such as Asia, the US or Australia. Which means a widening of the talent net in London in the future.
While the UK remains in unchartered waters, waiting to see what will happen, there is no escaping the negativity surrounding the decision. The immediate ramification, so history tells us, is that once Article 50 is activated, there will be a rapid fall in the strength of the pound - the pound to rupee exchange rate is on a long-term downward trajectory, after all. That being said, the UK economy has held stronger than any expert, analyst or politician would ever have thought possible since the decision was made to leave the EU. In the event of it not recovering quickly, businesses may need to consider setting up a subsidiary in other geographies, like the US in order to get revenues paid in US dollars.
So change is afoot - Brexit will happen and businesses need to start preparing for when Article 50 is triggered. If they start looking for the right opportunities and in the right places, then there's no reason for the divide to mean pain - instead, they can start looking at how they can continue to profit by running as effectively - and competitively - as possible.