January 10 ,2017 | by Erin O’Neill

Scotland’s small businesses are digital skills leaders, according to index

Small businesses in Scotland are ahead of their UK counterparts when it comes to digital skills, according to the Bank of Scotland’s annual Business Digital Index.

The index surveyed 2,000 small businesses and charities, assessing basic online skills such as managing information, transactions, communication, creating and problem solving, and found that over 67 per cent of businesses in Scotland possess these skills – higher than the UK’s average of 62 per cent.

Improvement

The index showed that less than 33 per cent of small businesses in Scotland lacked basic online skills, which is an improvement of 5 per cent on the UK’s average.

According to the Bank of Scotland, only London was found to be on par with Scotland, with small businesses in the city possessing all of the key basic online skills.

Small businesses revealed their main barriers to growth, with a lack of key digital skills being cited as the biggest challenge at 15 per cent.

The index also found that Scotland’s small businesses are leaders when it comes to investing in cyber security, with 57 per cent of the 109 businesses surveyed in the country saying that they need to invest to protect their company from cyber-attacks.

Opportunities

Commenting on the Business Digital Index, Bank of Scotland Executive Committee Chair, Philip Grant, said that it shows that digital maturity is increasing for Scotland’s small businesses, but that there are still too many without basic digital skills.

He added: “It’s clear that being online can open the doors to opportunities, as well as cost and time saving benefits. We must do more to encourage small businesses based in Scotland to invest in digital skills, allowing them to make the most out of being online and to reap the benefits.”

Erin O’Neill

Erin O’Neill is an LSBF News Writer who reports on small business, careers, technology and education news.

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