What about the EU?

In the aftermath of the vote, there are some instant comments around in the IT sector as elsewhere. Outsell, for example, have mailed an analysis for the information industry (though not related to our IT analysts about whom more anon, perhaps).

A couple I know a little about.

First: research and development will shortly lose access to a significant source of funding, especially for pre-market development; and to the wide-ranging academic and industrial collaboration that the EU research programmes are intended to – and do – foster. World-leading many of our research centres undoubtedly are; our IT provider companies less so.

Second: data protection. Let’s take EU-wide data protection standards (unified, more or less effective and collaboratively developed) to stand for the EU regulations which are somehow supposed to cease to trouble UK industry. Will UK companies have to (probably separately) demonstrate their compliance to EU data protection standards before they can do business? Or will the UK have to set up something like the UK Safe Harbor arrangement, before ditto? One or the other; and surely more of a burden, more of a cost, than at present when just operating from the UK provides de jure compliance.

Oh, and a postscript. In today’s daily paper there’s a splash advert from one of the mobile phone companies: “Travel to Europe with no roaming charges!” We all know that’s the result of a European negotation and agreement with the providers, and a bit of big stick from the regulators; it’s not the provider’s initiative. Watch out for their re-introduction, somewhere down the line. Will the UK have the independent clout to keep them at bay? Will Europe care? Not a chance!

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Microsoft and LinkedIn

News arrives that Microsoft is buying LinkedIn for a phenomenal sum. This is a rapid reaction; I’ll update it and add links later.

There will be plenty of comment. My own perspective is not just as a user (still an active account although I’m no longer undertaking consulting work). In days gone by, as a member of a CSC Leading Edge Forum study tour, I visited LinkedIn when they were still a start-up with the coke machine in the corner of the meeting room. Until then, I hadn’t got the point of their model. But then, I did, and I’ve been a user ever since.

I guess the aim of any start-up is either to make lots of money in their own right (which LinkedIn still hasn’t) or to get bought by a major. So that makes their backers’ investment a commercial success. What integration with Microsoft will mean remains to be seen …