27 Business Intelligence Facts For Digital SMEs

Business intelligence for SMEs on the UK's digital economy.

There is plenty of business intelligence on the UK's digital economy if you spend time researching facts and figures using the Internet. But, to get it right, you also need to know where to look and to use authoritative, trusted sources for your information.

This E RADAR article quotes digital business intelligence facts and figures published by recognised trade and professional associations, as well as official government statistics. We also refer to authoritative and well known organisations which publish their own business intelligence on the digital economy, including banks and top business consultancy firms.

Digital Business Intelligence

General Facts

There are now 5.2 million businesses in the UK employing 25.2 million people, with a combined turnover of £3,500 billion.

SMEs (small and medium sized enterprises) with 250 employees or less employ 15.2 million people.

85% of small businesses identify investment in new technologies as a key driver for business growth.

The UK's creative industries were worth £15.5 billion in 2011; that's £8 million per hour.

The UK services sector alone contributes to around 78% GDP.

4.2 million people now work some or all of the time from home.


1 in 7 businesses consider lack of reliable and fast broadband connectivity to be a major barrier to economic growth.

94% of small business owners consider a reliable internet connection critical to the success of their business.

60% of small business owners expect to increase their online presence over the next 12 months.

Only 15% of small firms are very satisfied with their broadband provision, while a quarter say they are fairly or very dissatisfied.

49% of rural small businesses are dissatisfied with their broadband, nearly double the number of urban businesses.

Only 16% of rural small businesses has access to superfast broadband.

65% of small businesses access broadband through a wired connection.

Only 12% of small businesses has a fibre-optic connection.

Approximately 45,000 small businesses still rely on a dial-up connection. That's 1% of Britain's 4.5 million SMEs (small and medium sized enterprises).


Around 33% of SMEs don't have a website.

Only 50% of SMEs have a website with basic functionality.

This rises to 50% including voluntary, community and social enterprise groups.

29% of SMEs and charities believe being online isn't relevant for their business.

E Skills

33% businesses are without basic online skills.

75% of businesses don't invest any money in improving their e skills.


The cost of cybercrime to small businesses is estimated at £785 million annually.

41% of small businesses have been a victim of cybercrime.

The average cost of cybercrime to business victims is around £4,000 per organisation.

Around 3 in 10 small firms have been a victim of fraud, typically by a customer or client (13%) or through 'card not present' fraud (10%).

Whilst 60% of small firms use cloud computing services, 38% are sceptical about the benefits.

The biggest concerns of small firms with cloud computing are: (1) data theft or loss - 60%; (2) reliable access to online services - 55%; (3) liability issues - 41%; and (4) over dependence on cloud computing services - 33%.