Almost four in ten of UK small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have some form of Internet access and that percentage will likely double inside five years. That's great news for a booming Web design industry already worth over £100 million.
The findings come from the BT-sponsored Durlacher Quarterly Internet Report based on interviews conducted in August this year with 300 companies.
39 per cent of SMEs in the survey have Net access while another 20 per cent plan to be online in the next 12 months. 81 per cent expect to be online inside five years. Intranet deployment is also picking up; 11 per cent of SMEs have an intranet, compared to 60 per cent of UK corporates.
Durlacher says that the services market is the fastest growing sector of the UK Internet marketplace. The UK Web design market is already worth more than £100 million and will continue to grow at over 40 per cent per year for the next two years.
"One of the most striking results of this report is the section on the UK ancillary services market," said Nick Gibson, Internet analyst at Durlacher Research. "A couple of years ago there were only a handful of Web design agencies - now the industry is worth approximately £100 million ... Not only is the Internet providing real business benefits for existing UK SMEs, it is creating and sustaining a lot more at the same time."