Can your IT systems deal with a no-deal Brexit?

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Blue Chip Blog
19 Aug 2019
Can your IT systems deal with a no-deal Brexit?

With Michael Gove’s recent statement that the Government is preparing for a no-deal Brexit it seems the die is cast and the United Kingdom will be leaving the European Union on the 31st October 2019, probably without a deal.

Whatever your thoughts on the prospect of this and whichever side of the fence you’re on, it is almost certain that one of the outcomes of a no-deal Brexit will be disruption to the free passage of goods through the UK’s borders.

Hopefully the powers that be will get their acts together and the period of disruption could only be a short one, but given the experiences of the past three years, even that cannot be relied upon and it may be many months before something meaningful is put in place.

With this concern in mind, it is incumbent on every UK business to be at its highest level of preparedness for what could be an uncomfortable and uncertain time. Often overlooked in the great scheme of things is a business’s data centre maintenance. The question is not whether an organisation has hardware maintenance. The question every company should be asking is how preparedness their IT systems’ maintainer is for a no-deal Brexit.

Where do you stand if hardware parts they use are stored overseas?

With the prevalence of many UK maintainers, especially the manufacturers, of having their central spares holdings on mainland Europe, the answer is of critical importance. If spare parts that are needed to fix a company’s machine are stuck somewhere in a border, the usually expected fix time of a few hours could extend to potentially days, weeks or even months. Sadly, nobody can say for certain because where Brexit is concerned, everything seems uncertain.

The nightmare scenario you can avoid

I recall an incident from only a few years ago which, if it were to happen in a no-deal Brexit period of uncertainty, could have disastrous consequences for the company involved. Rightly or wrongly, they had a critical system running on a chassis with blades, with the failure of one blade causing disruption to the whole of the system. A replacement blade was shipped from Amsterdam which turned out to be DOA (Dead On Arrival). Another blade was shipped from Amsterdam which worked when installed but highlighted the fact that there were two blades that had failed, so a third one needed to be shipped, and yes, again sourced from Amsterdam.

Even in a period of the free passage of goods over borders, this company’s critical system was down or severely degraded for a week.

If the borders do become a sticking point after 31st October, that one week could potentially have become several. Suffice to say that company no longer uses the manufacturer for their maintenance.

Your solution

There is a solution, as there are a few maintainers who deliver 100% of their service from within the borders of the UK when it comes to engineering, technical support and most importantly parts.

Blue Chip is one of them. From our perspective, we commit to having every part for every machine on support, in UK-held stock which we completely own.

We have a powerful stock control system and logistics team that scour the market for the right part at the right price and in the right place. As a Blue Chip hardware maintenance customer, you can rest assured that no matter what uncertainties the next twelve months bring, whatever part your machines require, it will never be more than a couple of hours away.

If you’re not already a Blue Chip hardware maintenance customer, get in contact today to ensure you’re prepared for any flavour of Brexit.

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This article was written by Will Nicholls. Will is one of two Client Directors that specialise in catering for the needs of Blue Chip's Business Partner community. His particular strengths are in iSeries, pSeries & associated storage devices with an emphasis on formulating hardware maintenance solutions suited to our Business Partners requirements. With over 25 years experience in the industry, Will has a wealth of knowledge of the IT sector & is familiar with most things IT related. He's also a rather smug Bradford City fan.

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