It’s hard to believe that nearly half a decade has passed since the Brexit referendum of 2016. On 24 December, 2020, after years of negotiation, the United Kingdom and the European Union finally signed an agreement governing their separation. We finally have some clarity about the UK’s future relationship with the EU, although some aspects will remain open or somewhat vague in the short term.
With £668 billion in annual trade between the UK and the EU, it’s safe to say the two markets will remain closely linked. But the new rules which came into force on January 1 will create new challenges for businesses on both sides of the Channel.
Here’s how we at ServiceNow have prepared for those challenges, and what other businesses should be considering as the UK exits the EU – and beyond.
How ServiceNow has prepared for Brexit
First and foremost, the UK’s exit from the European Union means many businesses are now subject to a whole range of new rules and regulations. Whether you work in haulage, farming, or finance, your industry is likely facing a range of new processes, systems, and operations you’ve never had to deal with before.
At ServiceNow, we’ve taken steps to help minimise disruption and maintain business as usual. We’ve put extensive preparations in place and have invested in new infrastructure to bolster our service, including new data centre pairings in the EU and the UK. The goal of these investments is to give all our customers further confidence that we’re committed to ensure our service delivery remains compliant with both UK and EU law.
We’re committed to having this remain the case in the future, too. Whilst the EU and UK markets may diverge only imperceptibly at first, we’re aware that even small changes can result in significant differences along the line, and that these differences can pose real problems for business.
That’s why we’re continuing to monitor the situation on a regular basis, and have ongoing contingency plans to help our operations continue in a legally compliant manner, regardless of the changing political climate.
Looking beyond Brexit
Understandably, businesses have a lot of questions. Where are we likely to be in three years’ time? Where is our business going to be? What do we need to prepare for?
But while the UK’s exit from the EU has been front of mind for many of late, it’s worth remembering that businesses often face macro events that require them to re-strategize and change how they operate.
Getting business processes right has always been crucial to facing problems like this and minimising disruption. And it’s a problem faced by all markets, not just the UK and the EU.
Across the world, right now, there are hundreds of markets looking for solutions to immensely complex challenges, whether political, economic, or social. Brexit is a reminder of a timeless lesson: we must keep our eyes wide open to all the challenges out there and be ready to seize opportunities while facing whatever the future may hold.
As many businesses shelve their No-Deal preparations, it’s a particularly timely lesson. The success of a deal may make it seem like all those strategies, contingency plans, and worse-case scenarios were put together in vain, but that’s absolutely not the case.
The current circumstances have encouraged a huge proportion of British and European companies to actively consider how to adapt, and what to do better; what to maintain, and what to start over. We shouldn’t let all that thinking go to waste.
The events of the past five years have been a shot in the arm for many, and that work may yet bring fantastic ideas and important learnings to the fore that refresh and invigorate our businesses and leave them better prepared for what’s ahead.
Digital workflows will continue to protect businesses against uncertainty
This may make it all sound easy. Of course, we know it’s not.
But while we can’t control or predict external challenges, we can make sure we’re sufficiently prepared to tackle them when they do arise.
A digital workflow system like ServiceNow can help businesses adapt faster compared to paper-based processes and point-to-point solutions. Our platform offers all the capabilities, and nuance you need for any scenario or sector – from IT, to HR, to customer experience, and more – providing answers to problems no one could have predicted.
Our COVID apps are a great example of this, showing just how rapidly we can pivot and create bespoke solutions that are functional, relevant, and replicable.
At the end of the day, you can’t solve the problems of the digital world with analogue solutions.
The nimbler your internal systems – and the more practised you are with digital solutions – the better set up you are to adapt and succeed, whatever the circumstances.
ServiceNow: a partner for the future
At ServiceNow, we help people upgrade their systems, allowing them to work better and more efficiently. In a world with more questions than answers, we help customers face challenges head-on, and come out the other side even stronger.
Whether it’s Brexit, COVID-19, or something else driving you to reconsider your game plan for the years ahead, we believe there’s never anything wrong with taking a closer look at your business processes and making sure you’re ready for the future.
We don’t know what the world will look like in five years’ time.
But if we stay on the front foot – and ensure we have the ability to respond to whatever challenges we face – we can take on almost anything.
For more information on how you can address the challenges your business is facing, click here.