UK government advisory organisation the Broadband Stakeholder Group (BSG) has urged Whitehall to offer further encouragement to small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs) to adopt broadband and high-speed connections.
The recommendation comes as part of a report entitled “Capitalising On Connectivity” published by the group yesterday.
According to the research, some SMEs have not yet unlocked the commercial potential of online activities and new technologies.
It identified that despite estimates that increasing the digital capabilities of UK SMEs could lead to economic returns of £18.8bn, they are not capitalising on this.
“SMEs don’t naturally and intuitively see the benefits of technology. They are busy people with a lot on their plates and the person doing IT is often doing everything else as well,” claimed BSG CEO Pamela Learmonth.
The report’s authors have asked the government to push the adoption of faster broadband in order to benefit smaller companies across the country. Five recommendations have been published in order to achieve this.
Firstly, the research asks the government to expand the evidence base on SME broadband use. Secondly, policy makers should have access to better information on how to persuade the businesses in question of the benefits of being actively online.
The third suggestion is a better understanding in both industry and government of requirements for these firms for broadband in terms of bandwidth and other characteristics.
Finally, Whitehall should look to drive SME usage and uptake through its engagement with SMEs via government services and transactions.