Now that the dust has begun to settle on the Brexit news, we can start looking to the future. Having voted to leave the European Union, the UK will now need to negotiate a completely new set of trade deals – something they haven’t done for nearly half a century. No one yet knows what this will look like, but there is no doubt that the process of getting there will be enormously demanding on resources.

Consulting firms that work with the government will be busy over the next few years, collecting data and managing the negotiations that will determine both the long-term impact as well as the fundamental next steps of Britain’s exit. In fact, to say they’ll be busy is a massive understatement. For perspective, it took nearly seven years to finalize the recently inked EU-Canada deal. To simply maintain the same number of trade deals they’ve been included in as part of the EU, the UK will have to negotiate trade deals with 53 countries. That’s a lot of effort and a lot of man-hours!

Moreover, there are a large number of stakeholders in these negotiations. From the 27 EU member states to European Parliament not to mention international partners outside of the EU, a large number of internal and external individuals will need to work together to come to a number of resolutions.

Given this, there will undoubtedly be a large amount of information sharing taking place. Considering the sensitivity of this information and the number of parties involved, it will be essential to maintain clear workflows to prevent information from slipping through the cracks, slowing progress and putting critical knowledge in jeopardy. With all eyes on the government and these consulting firms, there is no room for a data breach. As important as these negotiations will be it’s absolutely essential that they are able to uphold the highest standard of security.

It is obvious to everyone that a “doing more with the same” approach simply won’t work in this circumstance. There are simply too many tasks and too many parties involved. It is equally obvious that it will require news standards of collaboration both internally within the government, and externally with its advisors and negotiations partners. In short, these negotiations necessitate new structures, new processes and new tools to enable all of this to happen with unprecedented agility, quality and security. We call this “Huddle Up!”

Cisco recently surveyed CIOs and found that on average they had 51 cloud services running in their organizations. Our own research found that in professional services firms employees are not only storing work documents in personal cloud services (27%), they’re also storing them in network drives (47%), local hard drives (38%), unencrypted USB drives (27%) and in their email (23%). This is concerning on a number of levels. It not only means that this data is difficult to find (X% have lost a document), but it’s leaves questions about what happens to that data when employees leave an organization. In the case of a project the scope and length of the Brexit negotiations, there are bound to be a fair amount of turnover.

Furthermore, when it comes to this level of information sharing, inefficiencies can be incredibly costly. Professional services loose nearly $4,000 in productivity per employee each month, simply from lost documents. The impact, however, is not just financial. Nearly a quarter of employees have missed a client deadline due to lost documents. With such a large task ahead, those working on Brexit negotiations simply cannot afford these types of losses. As such, it will be important to establish a robust system for collecting and organizing information before these negotiations begin in earnest. By removing document management concerns from the equation, the British government can get to the real work of determining the future.

At Huddle we already work with more than 80% of the UK government institutions and the majority of the largest consulting firms working with the UK Government. Building on this presence and experience Huddle has already begun a dialogue on how we can enhance our tool and ensure optimum support to truly bring the highest levels of quality and efficiency to this process while delivering the best-of-class security – something that will be essential in the years ahead.


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