Five years ago: Net to claim 85 per cent of UK firms

Internet usage among UK businesses will near saturation point at around 85 per cent, indicated figures today from the largest independent survey of its kind in the UK

First published 29 January, 1997

60 per cent of UK businesses currently use the Internet, with a further nine per cent committed and 16 per cent considering, found the survey of 700 UK companies spanning the range of company sectors and sizes.

The survey, carried out by market analyst and exhibitions firm The Interactive Group during the second half of last year, also found only 17 per cent of organisations own Web development tools. "This figure doesn't show any potential for using the Web for anything except browsing around," said Phil Jones, information management analyst for The Interactive Group. However, he conceded many of the 48 per cent of firms found to have Web sites contract out the design and maintenance to specialist firms.

The figures also showed 35 per cent of companies publish data on the Web and 19 per cent buy and sell over the Internet. "Despite the hype about the Internet, [companies] see it as a sales medium and not as an information medium," said Jones.

Electronic Commerce Association chief executive Roger Till agreed: "Books, CDs and computer equipment make 70 to 80 per cent of Internet sales at the moment but that's about to change, and all the discussions about security will be resolved."

The survey, prepared for DBWorld 97, held on March 19 at Olympia, London, also examined database usage, electronic commerce, data warehouses and client-server applications.

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