Navigating Uncertainty – Again

Scott Brown, Owner, Social Information Group; Cybrarian, Oracle Inc.; and Business Information Review Board Member
Please note this post contains the personal views of the author and are not connected with his employer
The June 2016 issue of Business Information Review focuses on several aspects of security – policy and regulations, the complications introduced by social media, and the “human factor” in security, among other topics. If anything, the issue and articles illustrate the complexity of security issues, and the many grey areas that we need to navigate. 
With the late June “Brexit” referendum vote, another layer of uncertainty has been added to the mix. Many global tech companies were already struggling with the demise of the Safe Harbour framework for data transfer, security, and privacy within and outside of the EU. The EU-U.S. Privacy Shield, which, as of this writing, seems on the verge of formal adoption, imposes stronger guidelines on US companies to protect EU personal data. Hopefully, the adoption of Privacy Shield will provide the needed clarification for secure and compliant information exchange across borders. 
Should Brexit come to pass, these issues will likely need to be resolved in separate agreements with the UK, and between the UK and the EU. 
While several observers have speculated about the impact of Brexit, including the impact on IT spending and the effect on talent movement within the UK and EU, Outsell’s initial look at the effect of Brexit on the information industry highlights several potential effects that impact the information world. In addition to the various downside impacts, Outsell speculates that “winners” – or at least those that stand to benefit or become busier from Brexit – include legal consultants, and information providers such as LexisNexis, Thomson Reuters, and IHS Markit. 
The most marked effect of Brexit to date, outside of the immediate impact on global stock markets, has been to inject a lot of uncertainty around the longer-term outcomes and effects. As business information professionals, it’s more important than ever to be tracking this space, understanding the implications (as much as possible), and sharing relevant information within our organizations and with our clients. 
While many sources are clearly reporting on the effects of Brexit, Outsell seems dedicated to tracking and reporting on this space from the information arena. The Financial Times is covering this space more broadly, with detailed coverage particularly in the financial markets. Both sources are definitely worth tracking and including as part of your informational “toolkit”. 
As information professionals, we’re well-positioned to provide “early warning”, and to help our organizations and clients navigate this next stage of uncertainty.