And finally…BoS finds a quarter of Scots SMES still believe digital tech is “irrelevant”



A new survey of SMEs by Bank of Scotland has revealed that many of them still have a “blind-spot” and do not understand the benefits of new technology.

Just over a quarter (27 per cent) respondents maintained that digital is “irrelevant” to them, according to the UK Business Digital Index compiled by the bank in association with Accenture and digital skills charity Go ON UK.

The report tracks the level of digital adoption of SMES and charities, such as running a website, using e-commerce, maintaining a social media presence or using online banking tools.

Graham Blair, Bos’s area director for SME banking in Scotland, said it was clear “that real challenges remain around the perceived benefits of being digital”.

He said: “We cannot emphasis enough the benefits that digital adoption can offer – such as saving time, increasing revenue or funding, and reaching wider audiences. Digital is the key to unlock these benefits.

“Even if a business does not believe they need to be online, many of their customers already are. There needs to be further awareness to give businesses the confidence to do more online.”

The index showed that the number of SMES with basic digital skills has improved since 2014, increasing from 73 per cent to 75 per cent and there has been “slow but positive progress” in digital adoption among all organisations in the past year.

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