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Whitehill Business Services Ltd >> news >> latest news >> Do Small Businesses Lack Digital Skills?

Do Small Businesses Lack Digital Skills?

Posted by on April 24, 2015

Around 23% of all small to medium sized businesses still lack basic digital skills according to the latest UK business digital index.

The Index, in association with Accenture, Lloyds Bank and the digital skills charity Go On UK measures and tracks the highs and lows of digital ability amongst businesses and charities.

An overall increase throughout the UK Index suggests a slow but steady shift towards businesses becoming more digitally active. However, there are still over a million small to medium sized businesses that lack digital skills, according to the study.laptop2_m.jpg

This is even more significant in the charity sector where almost 60 percent of charities don’t have the necessary skills – this is an increase of 3% from last year.

‘Basic Digital Skills’ tends to include various activities online such as running a website, using e-commerce (an online shop) or maintaining a presence on social media.

Challenges also remain around the perceived benefits of having these digital skills, with a quarter of all enterprises believing digital is irrelevant to them. More worryingly, however, a similar number (27%) still believe that they have already done everything they can to embrace the digital economy.

This report has also established a strong link between digital maturity and organisational success, with the most digitally-mature SMEs a third more likely and charities two times more likely to increase in turnover or funding in recent years in comparison to the least digitally able businesses.

Group director for digital at the Lloyds Banking Group says, “In just one year it is pleasing to see that over 100,000 more small businesses in the UK now have basic digital skills.”

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“What is also clear is that real challenges remain – over a million small businesses and charities still lack certain digital skills and the perceived benefits of being digital remain. For example, a quarter of all organisations surveyed believe digital is ‘irrelevant’ to them. We cannot emphasise enough the benefits that digital adoption can offer – such as saving time, increasing revenue or funding or reaching wider audiences. Digital is the key to unlock these benefits for your business.”

Most notably, time appears to have become even more precious, as the numbers using this reason as a barrier to digital activities increased by almost a half from last year’s survey from 14% to 20%.