Started in 2006, the aim of the study was to provide valuable information about the level of ICT adoption by the region’s businesses and the perceived barriers to adoption and implementation. The survey provides both a benchmark for regional performance and the means to measure and evaluate progress on an annual basis. Please read on to find out about the key finding of the Study and how it groups businesses into four categories for ICT adoption.
Key findings of the 2009 study, in brief, are:
- Computer use at 74%, an 8% decrease from 2008... this fall has been led mainly by an increase in non-adoption levels among micro organisations, compounded by the increasing proportions of micro organisations across the region. 7% of non-adopters are planning on installing a computer in the next 12 months.
- Overall 71% of YH businesses with Internet access - 96% of those with a computer. 53% of businesses in Yorkshire and Humber have a website. This equates to 72% of computer using businesses; an increase of 6% compared to 2008, and an increase of 26% over a four year period (46% in 2006).
- Over half of internet users (52%) do not know the speed of their internet connection. 26% have a connection speed of over 2Mbps and 8% have a connection speed over 10Mbps. 19% of businesses in the region are planning on getting a faster internet connection.
- The most significant increase in website usage is amongst micro businesses, this number has increased from 62% in 2008 to 70% in 2010. The highest levels of website usage by sector were among manufacturing companies (80%).
- 55% of internet connected businesses receive orders online, with 54% receiving payments electronically. 75% of businesses with online ordering enabled receive under half of their orders from an online source.
- Use of ICT to support managing the relationship with the customer has increased to 60% from 52% in 2008.
- 63% of businesses believe it is important to minimise the environmental impact of their business operations, with 43% using ICT to support it.
- 14% of businesses with a website are using social networking sites to develop marketing strategies, with 11% of website enabled businesses using social networking sites as advertising forums.
- Decrease in the levels of businesses with no internal ICT resource over the two years, falling from 44% in 2008 to 30% in 2009. However, an ICT enthusiast is still the main source of skills for 50% of businesses in the region and 80% of those have no formal ICT qualification.
- Continued low use of e-learning . . . 16% of computer using businesses have used e-learning to provide ICT training to their employees, with 13% using e-learning to provide training in business skills.
- ICT suppliers and Business Link continue to be the most popular sources of ICT advice, with the usage of Business Link rising among non-adopters.
- Main drivers for ICT adoption – improving quality of service/products (81%) and improving business competitiveness (77%).
- 40% of computer using businesses stated that ICT use has led to an increase in business profitability. 38% of businesses reported that ICT has led to an increase in sales.
The Benchmarking Study groups companies into five adoption categories, based on how they are using ICT to support their businesses:
Non-Adopters (25% of businesses in 2009)
Non-adopters consist of businesses who do not use computers (0%), and have no intention of using computers in the future. Non-adopters feel ICT use has no importance to their businesses, and have never accessed support in developing their businesses ICT use.
Basic Connectors (25% of businesses in 2009)
Basic Connectors are generally using computers (90% - a small proportion of non computer users expecting to adopt within the next 12 months have been included in this category), and think ICT is important to their organisation (80%). Just over half of these businesses use a broadband connection to access the internet (57%). Around two fifths (44%) of these organisations use ICT for finance and accounts, but usage of ICT in other areas of the businesses is generally low.
Intermediate Connectors (16% of businesses in 2009)
All of these businesses are using computers (100%) and the vast majority (99%) feel e-business is important to their organisational needs. Most use e-business to manage customer relationships (81%), and around two thirds are using e-business for online processing of orders (61%). Just over half of these businesses use e-business to manage their capacity.
Advanced Connectors (22% of businesses in 2009)
Advanced connectors all use computers (100%), all think e-business is important (99%), and all have the capability to receive orders over the internet (100%). ICT becomes more integral to all aspects of the business when moving to advanced connector level, with the majority of advanced connectors using e-business to manage capacity (76%) and customer relationships (84%). Half of all advanced connectors use e-business for joint product development (50%).
Strategic adopters (14% of businesses in 2009)
Strategic adopters use ICT to support a broad range of practices and processes within their organisation. 97% of strategic adopters use ICT for finance and accounts, with 95% using ICT for online processing. Over three quarters use ICT for managing capacity (77%). All strategic adopters have experienced an increase in turnover in the past 12 months (100%).
You can download a summary of the 2009 Study, plus the summary and full report from 2008, from the Resources page.