SMEs missing out on millions due to digital skills deficiency, finds report

BusinessZone
Lucie Mitchell
Contributing Editor
Sift Media
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Small businesses could boost turnover by £18.8bn if they become more 'digitally mature', new research has found.

The report, by management consultancy Booz & Company and Go ON UK - the charity chaired by UK digital champion Martha Lane Fox – has revealed that only one third of SMEs have a digital presence and just 14% sell their products and services online.
Findings also highlighted that more digitally mature SMEs have grown faster over the last two years than their less mature counterparts. 
Booz has therefore estimated that small firms could unlock up to £18.8bn in revenue if they become more digitally aware and capable, and invest in new forms of digital manufacturing, online retail, marketing, and other innovative businesses to help create new sources of revenues.
The report also claimed that 16 million people in the UK don’t have basic online skills and the UK economy has lost out on £63bn because the nation is not a global digital leader.
However, Booz suggests that there is still potential to unlock billions of pounds if the UK fills the digital skills gap and invests in its digital infrastructure and services.
"We need to make the country fit for purpose through the next decade and ensure everyone and every organisation has basic digital literacy," said Lane Fox.
Go ON UK has therefore launched a digital skills charter, in conjunction with its founder partners - Age UK, BBC, Big Lottery Fund, EE, E.ON, Lloyds Banking Group, Post Office and TalkTalk – to help the UK become more digitally capable.

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