Skip to Main Content
Access your saved content
Lloyds Banking Group, Accenture and Go ON UK have worked together to introduce the Lloyds Bank UK Digital Business Index—a new way of benchmarking digital development in small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and charities.
We believe this new measure of digital maturity will provide three overall benefits. It will:
Assist policymakers and organizations in gaining a better understanding of the digital world in which SMEs and charities operate
Help to clarify what needs to be done to help organizations already on their digital journey, as well as those that have yet to appreciate the potential value of setting out
Build toward releasing potential revenue growth—realizing that digital technology can help SMEs operate more effectively and achieve better business results
We also look at the results of a detailed analysis of small businesses and charities—examining the uses of and attitudes toward digital technologies, the benefits of using digital capabilities and the barriers to organizations realizing those benefits.
By repeating this report annually, we aim to provide valuable comparisons of changes in digital use, basic online skills and perceptions over time.
The Internet is evolving—we hear daily about new ways it can empower us, improve our lives and make the world a better place. However, although online access undoubtedly provides great opportunity, it is not taken advantage of uniformly.
This is evidenced by Lloyds Bank’s new UK Digital Business Index, which measures digital maturity across seven segments:
Each segment is clearly defined and has a set of specific factors and attributes influencing its approach to digital and overall digital maturity. We have mapped each segment based on level and intensity of digital activity against the following attributes:
The index segments contain different mixes of digital attributes—simply doing “more” of something is not necessarily enough to achieve a higher digital maturity score. Instead it is a question of achieving the right mix of activities to progress up the scale.
Using this new index, we’ve performed a detailed analysis of small businesses and charities in the United Kingdom—an analysis we plan to repeat annually.
Our analysis of small businesses and charities in the UK examines digital maturity in the following areas:
Digital skills and training. We find that, while 87 percent of SMEs and charities are capable of using the Web to communicate, only 67 percent can research information on the Internet. And just 58 percent can build and maintain a Web presence to provide information. Nearly two-thirds can transact online—making or receiving payments, or providing a secure transacting environment (secure online gateway).
Attitudes and the use of digital. The primary reasons why SMEs and charities are not taking practical steps to do more online have to do with their attitudes to digital. 35 percent believe they are already doing all they can online, and 29 percent think it is not relevant to their business.
Digital demographics and the link to success. Results show that geographic region has little to do with level of digital maturity. More influential factors are the organization’s age, size and the industry in which it operates. Charities are, on average, significantly less digitally mature. 80 percent of SMEs and charities in the most digitally mature segments believe that digital plays an important role in helping achieve their strategic objectives.
Overall, our research shows that digital technologies, tools and skills are being exploited by both small businesses and charities, but that nearly all SMEs and charities could be doing more to realize the full potential benefits.
There is little evidence that connectivity is holding back progress, and only a few SMEs and charities cite a lack of skills or funds as a reason not to do more online. The real problem seems to be a lack of belief that digital is relevant, that more can be done, or that focusing more on digital drives greater success.
In light of our findings, we believe that four key “calls to action” arise from this report:
Explain the benefits. How can organizations that feel digital is “irrelevant” be persuaded to look again at the changing needs of their customers, donors and clients?
Avoid complacency. How can those that say they have “done it all” be convinced that there is always something more they can do, and that maturity is an ongoing journey rather than a single step?
Provide more support. How can the 11 percent of SMEs and charities that are currently not using online channels at all be stimulated to start doing so?
Encourage innovation. How can the “innovators” be encouraged to keep innovating, and share what they have learned from their digital journey in a way that will benefit all?
What is clear from our research is that UK SMEs and charities have an urgent need for a deeper understanding of the “art of the possible” in the digital domain.
The resulting insights will stimulate progress across the spectrum of digital maturity—encouraging digital leaders to revisit their existing set-up, and non-digital SMEs and charities to reassess the potential digital return on investment (ROI).
March 31, 2014
Skip Footer Links