Got the Brexit fear? Keep calm and keep using AWS – Amazon UK boss

UK region still on way despite Gartner warnings

AWS Summit 2016 Amazon has urged customers to keep investing in cloud in the wake of British voters’ decision to leave the European Union.

Gavin Jackson, AWS UK, Ireland and Europe managing director, said today that the best approach is to "keep calm and carry on". He was opening the AWS London Summit and tackled Brexit head on in front of 5,000 attendees.

He said Amazon’s own plan to open a UK region, announced last November and due to open later this year or early next, is going ahead unchanged.

AWS currently has two regions in Europe, one in Ireland and the other in Germany.

“Post Brexit vote, I wanted to reassure our customers we see the UK as a fast innovator, a huge talent pool and a fast adopter of technology trends.

“We at AWS will continue to be an inward investor in the UK and will continue on a path to launch a UK region at the end of the year.

“Our message is to keep calm and keep on innovating in the UK, in cloud computing and AWS,” Jackson said.

Separately, Gartner today predicted the Leave vote will quickly affect IT spending in the UK and in Europe, while other changes will take longer.

Staff may be the largest immediate issue under the category of "other." The long-term uncertainty in work status will make the UK less attractive to new foreign workers. Retaining current non-UK staff and having less access to qualified new hires from abroad will impair UK IT Departments.

Amazon will be eager that uncertainty on IT spending in Britain does not feedback into the fortunes of its fast-growing AWS business.

John-David Lovelock, Gartner research vice president, said in a statement: "With the UK's exit, there will likely be an erosion in business confidence and price increases which will impact UK, Western Europe and worldwide IT spending.

He spoke as Gartner today released its figures for predicted IT spend for the year.

Worldwide IT spending is forecast to be flat in 2016, totalling $3.41 trillion - up from last quarter's forecast of negative 0.5 per cent growth. The change in the forecast is mainly due to currency fluctuations.

The UK represents a quarter of Western Europe’s IT spend and five per cent globally.

Immediately following the Brexit vote, Gartner downgraded its predicted spending on IT in the UK for 2016 and 2017, from growth to negative calculating Brexit will wipe $4.6bn off spending this year.®

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