BREXIT: Major challenges for Businesses’ IT Systems to be ‘BREXIT Ready’


BASDA (‘The Business Application Software Developers Association’) and the Institute of Directors (‘IoD’) have voiced their concerns that core business systems may not be fully ready for 1st January 2021 despite all the industry’s best efforts.

Businesses of all types and sizes across the UK rely heavily on their core front and back-office systems to keep their company operating and so it is crucial that the software be up to date. The recent BREXIT uncertainties and changes regarding ‘deal/no deal’ scenarios highlight the impact that this may well mean to software supporting key processes including logistics (particularly freight handling), accounting, sales & marketing and their supporting legalities. Such impacts make finalising corresponding development, delivery and implementation of such solutions before 1st January 2021 virtually impossible.

The software developer market has made considerable effort in getting their systems to be as ready as possible for all scenarios. However, the time between getting a deal and implementing it will require software adjustments, and significant work will be required to make the software compliant and ready once any agreement is reached. Software developers need to interpret, implement, and test the necessary changes to their products. These products must then be released as upgrades and installed by the businesses that use them. 

Kevin Hart, Chair of BASDA said: “We want all UK&I businesses to be ‘eyes wide open’ to the issues here, and so plan and resource accordingly. BASDA members, and the wider software developer market, are working around the clock to positively respond to their clients’ needs. Yet, even with the timely responses from HMRC (who are constrained themselves by Government decisions) to answering questions, this means that a significant number of businesses risk not having the upgrades delivered and installed before 1st January 2021.” 

Allie Renison, Head of Trade and EU Policy at the IoD, said: “Industry relies on the readiness of IT systems they use to even have a hope of dealing with disruption, deal or no deal. It’s very worrying that software developers are struggling to contend with being prepared but hardly surprising given the hugely compressed time scales and fact we are still negotiating. The UK and EU simply must give consideration to trade flows and phase in the implementation of any new arrangements.”

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