Over 1m small businesses lack basic digital skills

More than one million small businesses lack basic digital skills and are missing out on potential revenue and customer interaction, according to the annual UK Business Digital Index by Lloyds Bank. The report also found that 25% of small to medium-sized UK businesses do not recognise the benefits of digital technology and believe digital platforms are irrelevant to them.

Miguel-Ángel Rodríguez-Sola, group director of digital at Lloyds Banking Group, said, “It is clear that real challenges remain – 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 unlocking these benefits. Even if an organisation does not believe they need to be online, many of their customers already are. There needs to be further awareness to give businesses the confidence to do more online.”

However, the report also highlights that the number of UK SMEs with basic digital skills has improved since 2014, increasing from 75% to 77%, an increase of over 100,000. 

Rodríguez-Sola said, “We are extremely proud to be able to offer this insight and establish a strong link between digital skills and organisational success. In just one year it is pleasing to see that over 100,000 more small businesses in the UK now have basic digital skills.”

The 2015 Index shows that the most digitally savvy SMEs are more than a third more likely to report an increase in turnover than those businesses that are the least digitally mature.

Basic digital skills include the ability to complete tasks such as communicating, finding the right information, or carrying out a transaction safely online.