This survey comes as a follow-up Situation Analysis to the prior reports on SMEs’ presence on the web. The aim of this survey is really to find out in greater details the issues faced by SMEs. Especially now when there is an abundance of website builder tools and graphics design firms who can design a ‘mean’ website for any corporate business.
If you wish to be part of this survey, click here to take the survey.
At the end of the survey, we will compile a detailed report on Small Business Enterprises’ Presence on the Internet and release it under a General Public License (GPL). We hope this report will help provide local business communities with useful insights and suggestions on the ways to help its own local business get online.
The mobile operator released results of its survey which it claims shows that "complexity turns business users off technology" and that many companies surveyed found technology "too confusing".
The third annual TNS MRBI poll of small and medium-sized businesses for O2 reveals that 21 percent of SMEs found technology too confusing. This figure rises to 26 percent in firms employing between one and three people.
The survey also found that security and virus issues are big turn-offs for firms using technology, with 21 percent citing this as their major criticism. Reliability was an issue for 7 percent, while 15 percent are "fed up" with spam.
Marketing director for O2 Ireland Paul Farrell (unsurprisingly) said that mobile phones were the answer to all of these ills. "If the mobile sector can continue to deliver critical business services, like e-mail, in a user friendly manner, then the mobile, whether it is a phone or BlackBerry, will increasingly become the communications device of choice for many business users," he said.
Just under one third of those surveyed by O2 described their personal computer skills as poor or non-existent, while 50 percent said that their PC skills were average.
The survey shows 35 percent of SMEs use texting (SMS) for business purposes -- up six points from last year's annual survey. In addition, 37 percent use texting frequently for business purposes, up from 26 percent last year.
"Young people were the first to identify and exploit the benefits of texting. This study, and indeed our own experience with customers, suggests that many firms are now discovering the business benefits as well," added Farrell.
According to the research, only 37 percent of SMEs have a website. "Twenty-eight percent of firms employing less than three people have a website which is perhaps understandable, but we were a little surprised that only 56 percent of those employing more than ten people possess a website," commented Farrell.
O2 Ireland commissioned TNS mrbi to survey 300 owners, managers, or directors of Irish businesses employing less than 250 employees.