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Brexit feast time in Ireland?

Gurvan Meyer, Market & Business Enterprise Analyst at Context

As Brexit looms, the IT distribution channel Enterprise market in Ireland is thriving with double-digit growth in the server, storage and networking segments, according to the latest data published by Context, the IT market intelligence company.

In a market that is declining overall in Western Europe (WE), there were large year-on-year revenue increases in Ireland during both Q2 2019 (+34.8%) and Q3 2019 (+26%). In contrast, the UK Enterprise market declined by -14% in Q3 2019 – the second-worst performance of any WE country.

The enterprise server segment is one of the drivers of the market in Ireland. Server systems and server upgrades have made equal contributions to growth over the two last quarters, showing that companies are not only upgrading existing systems but also buying new ones. In particular, datacentre categories, such as Blade and high-end rack servers, are enjoying a noticeable upturn.

The Enterprise storage market is also participating in the feast. During a strong Q3 2019, backups and disk array systems led the pack in terms of revenues – but SSD storage upgrades saw an impressive +67.3% year-on-year increase in units with +92% more total addressable capacity (i.e. gigabytes) sold in Q3 2019 than in Q3 2018.

Enterprise networking has not been left behind: the Irish market has enjoyed the fourth-highest growth in West Europe over both the latest quarters of 2019.

These figures suggest that, with the Brexit deadline looming, companies have started to get real about the need to have back-up on EU soil to avoid data compliance issues if the UK leaves the EU on a no-deal basis or with a light deal”, said Gurvan Meyer, Market & Business Enterprise Analyst at Context. “There is little doubt that the current delays in Westminster are working in Ireland’s favour, but the country has an advantageous business and digital tax environment and state-of-the-art off-island fibre connectivity that make it an attractive place to settle for digital companies looking for European home.

There are already 55 active data centres in Ireland, another 35 in the pipeline, with 8 of these under construction. Continuing massive investment by Google, Amazon, SAP and others is also pushing the Irish market up.

It will be interesting to follow the evolution of the Enterprise market over the next few months – and through until the end of the proposed transition period in December 2020 (if it is put in place) – as it will help us understand how much of the growth observed in Ireland over the two last quarters is Brexit related”, added Gurvan.

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