By Lynne Gowers on 30th March 2015

Many small firms lack digital skills

Some small businesses do not have the right basic digital skills despite the growth of reliance on technology in recent years, claims new research.

The latest UK Business Digital Index from Lloyds Bank, in association with Accenture and digital skills charity Go ON UK, found 23 per cent of UK small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) do not have the correct digital skills to make the most of potential opportunities.

Many firms do have the ability to cope with the increase in day-to-day technical activities, such as operating a website, offering e-commerce options or interacting with customers via social media.

However, more than one million SMEs, especially those within the charity sector, lack the talent to keep up with the ongoing digital developments.

One of the worrying conclusions of the report was that many organisations do already believe they have embraced the digital economy or do not feel it is relevant to them.

Miguel-Ángel Rodríguez-Sola, group director for digital at Lloyds Banking Group explained there has been a growth in firms increasing their skill levels.

However, he also raised concerns about those who are not making the most of the technical developments.

“Over a million small businesses and charities still lack basic digital skills and the perceived benefits of being digital remain. For example 25 per cent of all organisations surveyed believe digital is ‘irrelevant’ to them.

“We cannot emphasis enough the benefits that digital adoption can offer – such as saving time, increasing revenue or funding or reaching wider audiences. Digital is the key to unlock these benefits,” said Mr Rodriguez-Sola.

Written by Lynne Gowers
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