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8129.0 - Business Use of Information Technology, 2001-02  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 26/02/2003   
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SUMMARY OF FINDINGS


INTRODUCTION

This publication presents final results, in respect of the 2001-02 financial year, from an Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) survey on business use of information technology (IT). The 2001-02 survey covers the extent and use of computers, the Internet and web sites by Australian businesses, as well as continuing to measure the ordering of goods and services via the Internet. New to the survey are methods of Internet access by Australian businesses and the exploration of issues related to IT security.


Adoption of information technology

The adoption of IT by Australian businesses has slowed compared to previous years. Between June 2001 and June 2002 no growth occurred in the proportion of businesses using a computer, with the proportion remaining at 84% of all businesses. Over the same period, growth in the access to the Internet increased slightly by 3 percentage points to 72% and the proportion of businesses with a web presence increased by 2 percentage points to 24%. In contrast, the proportion of businesses with a computer, Internet access and web presence grew by 8, 13 and 6 percentage points respectively in the previous year.


BUSINESS USE OF SELECTED TECHNOLOGIES OVER TIME (a)


1994
1998
2000
2001
2002

Businesses using a computer%
49
63
76
84
84
Businesses with Internet access%
na
29
56
69
72
Businesses with a web presence%
na
6
16
22
24

na not available
(a) Proportions are of all businesses at the end of June.
Copyright Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2003


The slowing of growth observed in the 2001-02 survey follows periods of rapid growth in the adoption of computers, Internet and web presence by Australian businesses. An increase of 21 percentage points in the use of computers was observed in the three years to 2001 as growth in Internet access and web presence increased rapidly. Since first measured in 1998, access to the Internet has grown by 43 percentage points, while web presence has grown by 18 percentage points.


Orders for goods and services via the Internet

The 2001-02 survey measured the number of Australian businesses using the Internet or web to place and/or receive orders, with or without online payment, and the value of Internet or web orders received by businesses (Internet income). Caution should be used when interpreting values of Internet income. Further information can be found in paragraphs 24 to 28 of the Explanatory Notes.

The proportion of Australian businesses placing orders via the Internet or web, with or without online payment, continues to increase, while the proportion receiving orders has declined. During 2001-02, 25% of businesses placed orders via the Internet or web, compared to 20% during 2000-01. The proportion of businesses receiving orders for goods and services via the Internet or web was 6% during 2001-02, declining from 9% in 2000-01.

ORDERS FOR GOODS AND SERVICES VIA THE INTERNET OR WEB OVER TIME(a)
1999-2000
2000-2001
2001-2002

Placed orders via the Internet or web %
r4
20
25
Received orders via the Internet or web %
6
9
6
Internet income$b
5.1
9.4
11.3

r revised
(a) Proportions are of all businesses.
Copyright Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2003


Method of Internet access

The method of Internet access used by business has been identified as an area where there is likely to be significant change. In response to this, the 2001-02 survey collected data on the method of Internet access used by Australian businesses.

Businesses were asked to identify all methods of Internet access used, but were not asked to identify those methods for which the level of Internet activity was greatest. Statistics presented in this publication therefore show the extent to which businesses are connected via different methods, but not the degree to which these methods are used.

There was greater variation in methods of Internet access for larger businesses than for smaller businesses. While 46% of large businesses using the Internet (100 or more persons employed) had access via a dial-up modem, other methods of access included: the use of ISDN (36%), other high speed access (26%), which includes frame relay and Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM), and Digital Subscriber Lines (20%). In contrast, 88% of micro businesses with Internet access (0-4 persons employed) used dial-up modems, with other forms of access being far less common.


IT security

The 2001-02 survey introduced questions relating to IT security. Results are presented on the use of IT security measures by Australian businesses, exposure to IT security incidents or breaches and the impact, source and reporting of incidents or breaches.

Only 14% of businesses with a computer reported having no IT security measures in place at June 2002, with 86% reporting some form of IT security. The most common form of IT security was anti-virus software or a virus scanner (80%), with other forms of IT security being less prevalent.


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