A Quarter Of SMEs Failing To Take Advantage Of Digital, Says Lloyds

Report Indicates Over A Million SMEs Falling Behind With Technology

30.03.2015

More than a million of the UK's SMEs lack the fundamental digital skills needed to take their businesses forward, according to new research from Lloyds Bank.

The bank's latest UK Business Digital Index found that 23% of SMEs and 58% of charities do not fully understand the benefits of running a website, using ecommerce and online banking, or maintaining a social media presence.

This is despite the report suggesting that SMEs with highly-developed digital skills are more than a third more likely to see increased turnover over the past two years, compared with their less digitally-able competitors.

The North West and North East of England had the highest rises in "digital maturity", the report found, partly thanks to proactive regional programmes designed to boost technological skills.

"Even if an organisation does not believe they need to be online, many of their customers already are," said Miguel-Angel Rodriguez-Sola, Group Director for Digital at Lloyds Banking Group.

"There needs to be further awareness to give charities and businesses the confidence to do more online."

Expert Opinion
Digital tools and platforms are hugely important to so many businesses and smaller firms in particularly should not ignore the huge benefits that online services can provide – allowing them to often effectively compete with larger companies within their sectors.

"SMEs need to recognise the huge importance that a strong online presence can play in their success, as well as the benefits of being active and sharing timely, interesting content on social media.

"As this research shows, the benefits of using online services and tools cannot be underestimated."
Steven Beahan, Partner