This final section presents businesses' future ambitions in their use of digital technologies, including the importance they attach to the use of digital technologies to the future growth of their business, and their wish to further develop the usage of technology.
Figure 13: Importance of digital technology to the
future growth or competitiveness of the business (%)
Base: All businesses (min = 3,258)
Importance of digital technology in the future (see Figure 13)
- Overall, a greater share of businesses stated that digital technology was important to their future growth or competitiveness compared to those surveyed in 2014.
- 31 per cent of businesses stated that digital technology was essential, and 47 per cent stated that it was important or very important, to the future competitiveness or growth of their business.
- 20 per cent did not think digital technology was important to the future of their business, compared to 24 per cent in 2014.
Figure 14: Proportion of businesses stating that
they hope to develop or use more of the following digital
technologies over the next 12 months (%)
Base: All businesses (3,258)
Future use of digital technology (see Figure 14)
- 65 per cent of all businesses hoped to develop or increase their usage of a company website over the next 12 months. Of those businesses that already have a company website, 78 per cent were hoping to develop or use it more.
- 60 per cent of all businesses hoped to develop or increase their usage of a social media over the next 12 months. Of those businesses that already make use of social media, 79 per cent were hoping to develop or use it more.
- Only 27 per cent of all businesses hoped to make more use of business, management or efficiency software, while 60 per cent of those already using this technology hoped to use it more over the next 12 months.
Expectations of future sales over the internet
- 22 per cent of businesses expected internet sales to make up 20 per cent or more of their total sales over the next 2-3 years (15 per cent made this proportion of their sales online at the time of the survey). Two per cent expected to sell all their products and/or services via the internet over the next 2-3 years.
- Over half (54 per cent) stated that they expected to make no sales via the internet over the next 2-3 years.