Add another layer to your #Business literacy. We at Serebral360° would love to know if the Forbes – Entrepreneurs article was helpful, leave a comment, like and share. Let’s dive in and discuss the information and put it to use to grow your business. #BusinessStrategy #ContentMarketing #WebDevelopment #BrandStrategy
Info@serebral360.com 762.333.1807 www.serebral360.com
Grap a copy of our Strategy Books 👉 CLICK HERE FOR VOL1 and 👉 CLICK HERE FOR VOL2
It’s an unscientific sample, for sure, but out of the hundreds of U.K. technology entrepreneurs that I’ve spoken to over the last two years or so, not a single one has expressed any enthusiasm for Brexit.
There are reasons for that – some practical and some cultural. On the practical side, tech founders have become accustomed to recruiting skilled staff from elsewhere in Europe and that source of talent could be about to dry up. Culturally, Britain’s startup scene is dominated by people who, broadly speaking, fall into two overlapping demographic groups – namely the young and the highly educated. And as most analyses of the 2016 referendum vote agree, both groups voted disproportionately to remain in the E.U.
But here’s the irony. When and if Brexit happens, it could well be that U.K. industry will be helped to avoid some of the worst aspects of trade disruption by the work of startups working in the regulatory technology (regtech) sector.
The Flow Of Trade
And there are a lot of problems that will require solutions, regardless of the nature of Britain’s departure from the European Union – not least around the flow of trade.
In a no-deal scenario, the disruption would be severe as the sudden end to frictionless trade would mean a return to extensive checks on goods leaving and entering the UK.
But even a “soft Brexit” – for instance, if Britain remained in close alignment with E.U. rules – wouldn’t mean a complete end to border checks. For instance, Norway has access to Europe’s single market but there are still some delays as trucks cross into Sweden.
So could technology ease trade flow problems?
Well according to Alex Hersham, CEO of Zencargo, technology-led solutions have the potential to make a real difference. His own company specializes in “in digitizing” company supply chains, making it easier for businesses to ensure they have the right level of stock by managing the flow of goods from suppliers to factories and warehouses.
“We are definitely very focused at looking at how tech can play a huge part in making life easier in the post-Brexit era,” he says. “Technology will enable companies to solve problems that otherwise couldn’t be solved.”
Working Round The Border Issue
For instance, Zencargo uses artificial intelligence to crunch supply chain data, with the intention of optimizing inventories. That wouldn’t directly address the problem of a once frictionless border that is suddenly a lot more sticky. However, Zencargo’s freight forwarding solution would allow businesses to make decisions that could mitigate the effect of a heightened level of border controls on supply chain schedules.
And potentially, the same data could – in partnership with others – underpin trusted trader schemes that allow goods to move without checks. This would be particularly useful on routes between Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic, where creating an invisible border is a political imperative. But as Hersham acknowledges. “Technology is not a silver bullet.”
Disruption to trade will not be limited to the flow of goods across borders. Again, the future is difficult to predict, but what is certain (assuming that Brexit happens) is that there will be at least a degree of regulatory and legal divergence between Britain and the E.U. – something that will lead to contracts being altered. This is potentially a bureaucratic nightmare for businesses.
“Nobody knows everything that’s in their contracts,” says Emily Foges, CEO of machine-learning company, Luminance.
The Luminance system was designed to enable lawyers to use machine learning to automatically check hundreds, or even thousands, of contracts. Today it is used by law firms and corporate legal teams. Foges says it has been widely deployed to ensure that businesses stay on the right side of Europe’s General Data Protection (GDPR) regulations. And as she explains, Luminance can equally be applied to check contracts that might be affected by Brexit.
But what about the Brexit elephant in the room – namely skills shortages. Well, there may even be technology solutions for that. For instance, Laurie Miles, director of Analytics at SAS, U.K. & Ireland, says the expected revolution in A.I. may counter the impact of an exodus from Britain of EU workers.
“Since the Brexit debate began, there’s been a reverse in EU migration – it’s now negative. That’s a huge hit to the labor supply. Replacing it will push us towards automation, as business invests in talent augmentation to tide them over. That means that AI will shoulder more of the burden of routine tasks in 2019, leaving staff to focus on the important, business-critical tasks,” he said.
The common theme here is that all of the above are pre-Brexit solutions that can be applied to a post-E.U. environment, but perhaps we should assume that bespoke technologies are yet to come.
April 30, 2019 at 01:14PM
Forbes – Entrepreneurs