Biz Briefs

Published October 21, 2010

Survey finds disconnect in how Canadian businesses value & use the Internet

By CO Staff

Canadian businesses recognize the importance of the Internet to their business strategy, yet many are reluctant to invest in the capacity and human resources needed to use the Internet.

In a survey of owners of small- and medium-sized businesses* commissioned by Intel Canada and conducted by Angus Reid, almost all agreed that they conducted at least some of their business online and recognized that the Internet is a key element of business strategy.

Ninety per cent said they conduct at least some of their business with customers and suppliers online. What is more interesting, however, is that almost four in ten (38 per cent) of respondants say that they now do "all" or "most" of their business using the web.

Yet when it comes to taking the action needed to properly incorporate Internet-based strategies, businesses may be reluctant to expand capacity to use the Internet and to hire or train people with the appropriate skills.

A whopping 82 per cent of company owners said that hiring for or training people to improve either digital skills or the ability to do business on-line was "not a priority."

At the same time, almost two-thirds (63%) of all small and medium business owners surveyed believe they are currently spending "enough" on Internet-based technology with just 19 per cent believing they should be spending more.

"Research like this demonstrates there is a great gap between small business perception and behavior," said Bernard Courtois, President and CEO of Information Technology Association of Canada (ITAC).

* Small- and medium-sized were classified as those with fewer than 100 employees.

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