Blighty lags on CRM, e-invoicing and broadband
UK businesses are lagging behind the rest of Europe when it comes to their use of enterprise software, an European Commission study has revealed.
The Digital Competitiveness Report, published by the EC this week, found that UK enterprises are failing to keep up with the rest of Europe in their use of CRM software, e-invoicing and broadband take-up.
Last year, only five per cent of the UK business population sent or received e-invoices and well below the EU's 2009 average of 23 per cent.
Similarly, the proportion of UK enterprises using CRM software was significantly under the European average. In 2009, six per cent of UK businesses made use of CRM while Europe's companies had an average adoption rate of 17 per cent last year.
Enterprise broadband connectivity in the UK is also lagging slightly behind the EU average, with 82 per cent of businesses connected in 2009. Some 83 per cent of European businesses, meanwhile, report having a broadband connection.
While British enterprises may be trailing behind their European neighbours, UK consumers are ahead of the EU pack in terms of their use of technology.
The study also reveals that just under 30 per cent of the UK population had access to broadband at home last year, above the EU average of 24.8 per cent.
Britain also fares better than the EU average for consumers using ecommerce: 66 per cent of the UK population ordered goods and services online last year, the largest proportion of the population in any EU country. The average take-up of ecommerce across the continent last year was 37 per cent.
With the ICT sector now adding an estimated €600bn to the EU economy, the EC is calling for more to be done if the EU is to truly reap the financial benefits of the digital economy.
Digital agenda commissioner Neelie Kroes said in a statement: "Europe's digital economy is crucial to economic growth and prosperity.
"But we need support for further internet development so that all citizens can benefit from the digital economy."