PC use increases but SMEs still lag

PC use increases but SMEs still lag

The best sales prospects for resellers could be in the local small-business sector where there is the biggest potential for technology take-up. Small businesses still languish behind large corporates when it comes to adopting technology despite their phenomenal technological growth, according to a recent Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) report.

Overall, the use of PCs in Australian businesses has increased from 49 per cent in June 1994 to 64 per cent in June 1998, the majority of this growth fuelled by small and medium enterprises (SMEs) according to Tim Power, manager of the information technology statistics unit of the ABS.

"In 1994 large corporates had an adoption rate of 99.2 per cent, which meant that there wasn't much room to move there. So SMEs are the ones that have increased the growth rate," said Power.

However, the humble PC has not managed to significantly infiltrate companies with between one and four employees, according to the survey, The Business Use of Information Technology. Only 55 per cent of this segment uses PCs, as opposed to companies with 100 or more people where there is a 99.8 per cent take-up rate.

"At the moment, SMEs have certain barriers that inhibit them from taking up the use of PCs in their business. Most obvious is cost but they also lack skills and training," explained Power.

However Power predicted that because of the diffusion of technology, costs will decrease in the near future and more small businesses will begin to understand the benefits of using PCs. "A PC can reduce some of your costs, especially record keeping and other tasks that are integral to a small business," claimed Power.

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