Brexit vote ‘has disrupted UK IT spending’

Brexit
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The uncertain political atmosphere in the UK following the EU referendum last June has caused a noticeable slowdown in the purchase of IT equipment, according to HPE CEO Meg Whitman.

Asked by IT Pro whether the US tech giant had seen any impact on its business, Whitman said: "Frankly, there's been a bit of a pause in the decision of UK companies, or multinational companies with operations in the UK, to continue to invest in their IT."

Whether this situation is temporary or long term, Whitman said she didn't know, but acknowledged it has been "one of (HPE's) weaker markets in Europe".

"I think it's because there's some uncertainty about how all this will play out - I can tell you, running a big multinational company, uncertainty is not our friend," Whitman said. "You're making long-term decisions, long-term bets and if there's uncertainty about how things are going to turn out, you're a bit more cautious.

"It doesn't mean you won't go back in and spend that money, but your just like 'You know what, why don't I just wait a bit and see what will happen' and I think that's our experience in the UK market."

Nevertheless, she said she had confidence the UK "sort their way through this".

"I think actually the British economy will remain quite strong, but I think there will be another year or two of uncertainty," she concluded.

Whitman's comments were made before the General Election on 8 June, which has left the UK with a hung parliament and a jittery tech sector.

Jane McCallion
Deputy Editor

Jane McCallion is ITPro's Managing Editor, specializing in data centers and enterprise IT infrastructure. Before becoming Managing Editor, she held the role of Deputy Editor and, prior to that, Features Editor, managing a pool of freelance and internal writers, while continuing to specialize in enterprise IT infrastructure, and business strategy.

Prior to joining ITPro, Jane was a freelance business journalist writing as both Jane McCallion and Jane Bordenave for titles such as European CEO, World Finance, and Business Excellence Magazine.