There has already been a steady increase in technology pick-up with 91 percent of UK businesses now having access to the Internet, 80 percent having a web site and over half of businesses ordering online. Over the coming years it is likely businesses will want to focus on integrating ICTs into every part of a business — one that builds on a framework of people, process and technology.
However, there are still many businesses that do not have the expertise, time or resources to tap into these opportunities and need guidance on taking the next steps, and help is at hand.
UK online for business, a DTI (Department of Trade and Industry)-led partnership between Government and industry, was set up to offer this support and advice and promote the benefits and role of ICTs and e-commerce.
Through a network of nearly 400 advisers, based within the Business Links, UK online for business annually offers practical, impartial and cost effective advice to around 100,000 organisations.
Businesses of all sizes and with different levels of ICT usage have been helped, ranging from firms taking the first steps to get online, through to those wanting to fully integrate technologies into their business.
As well as providing advice through one-to-one surgeries, the programme also has a large range of resources providing guidance and support on technology-based issues and topics. These include informative CD-ROMs, a series of publications and business planning tools, many of which are available, or can be ordered, from www.ukonlictforbusiness.gov.uk.
The web site also has dedicated sections on technologies such as broadband and issues such as e-security and there arc case studies that demonstrate how other companies have successfully integrated technology into their business.
Regional events, tailored to local business needs, arc also held to raise awareness and provide an understanding of the benefits of e-business.
To find your local adviser and fox further information on the programme and resources, call UK online for business Infoline on 0845 715 2000 or visit the web site.
1. How many UK businesses now order products via the Internet?
a) Approximately 80%. b) Around 90%. c) More than 50%.
2. Many companies do not:
a) want to use the new technology in their business.
b) have the people and time to start using ICT.
c) have the opportunities to talk about using ICT.