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8167.0 - Selected Characteristics of Australian Business, 2008-09 Quality Declaration 
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 16/09/2010   
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BUSINESS USE OF INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY


Introduction

The Business Characteristics Survey (BCS) collects key indicators of IT use and innovation in Australian businesses and more detailed information for each of these topics is collected every second year (i.e. in alternating years). The 2008-09 BCS had a focus on innovation, therefore, only a selected number of IT use indicators are available.

Summary IT use indicators for 2008-09 were released in Summary of IT Use and Innovation in Australian Businesses, 2008-09 (cat. no. 8166.0) in June 2010. These indicators include Internet access, web presence; and placing and receiving orders via the Internet or web. This section includes the relevant IT Use indicators as well as more detailed information about the types of broadband connection and Internet income. Explanatory Notes 19 and 20 provide more details regarding definitions for Internet commerce and the quality of associated financial data.

The 2009-10 BCS will collect more detailed information for IT use in Australian business and these detailed results are due for release in August 2011 in Business Use of Information Technology, 2009-10 (cat. no. 8129.0).

Business Use of Information Technology, by selected indicators, 2007 - 08 and 2008 - 09

2007-08
2008-09(a)

Estimated number of businesses(b) '000
711
713
Businesses with:
Internet access %
86.8
90.5
web presence %
36.3
41.5
Businesses with Internet access and broadband as main type of connection %
93.5
98.1
Businesses which:
placed orders via the Internet or web %
42.7
46.0
received orders via the Internet or web %
23.7
27.1
Internet income(c) $b
81.0
r122.9

r revised
(a) Data in this table were originally published in June 2010 in the release Summary of IT Use and Innovation in Australian Business, 2008-09 (cat. no. 8166.0).
(b) Business counts are provided for contextual information only, please refer to Explanatory Notes 23 and 24.
(c) Internet income is collected by asking businesses to estimate what percentage of their income from sales of goods or services can be attributed to orders received via the Internet or web. The estimated value of Internet income is derived by applying the percentage to business income from sales of goods or services.

Business Use of Information Technology, by selected indicators, by employment size(a)(b), 2008 - 09

0-4 persons
5-19 persons
20-199 persons
200 or more persons
Total

Estimated number of businesses(c) '000
433
217
60
3
713
Businesses with:
Internet access %
87.7
93.8
98.0
99.0
90.5
web presence %
31.2
53.3
70.0
95.1
41.5
Businesses with Internet access and broadband as main type of connection %
97.8
98.4
98.8
99.8
98.1
Businesses which:
placed orders via the Internet or web %
40.6
52.8
58.7
75.1
46.0
received orders via the Internet or web %
23.5
31.8
35.3
35.9
27.1
Internet income(d) $b
^10.0
^22.7
^34.6
55.6
r122.9

^ estimate has a relative standard error of 10% to less than 25% and should be used with caution
r revised
(a) Proportions are of all businesses in each employment size category.
(b) Some data in this table were originally published in June 2010 in the release Summary of IT Use and Innovation in Australian Businesses, 2008-09 (cat. no. 8166.0).
(c) Business counts are provided for contextual information only, please refer to Explanatory Notes 23 and 24.
(d) Internet income is collected by asking businesses to estimate what percentage of their income from sales of goods or services can be attributed to orders received via the Internet or web. The estimated value of Internet income is derived by applying the percentage to business income from sales of goods or services.



Internet access

Internet access during the year ended 30 June 2009 was reported by 90% of all businesses, an increase of three percentage points from 2007-08 (87%). The likelihood of a business having Internet access was greater with each successive employment size range.

The Information media and telecommunications and Financial and insurance services industries recorded the highest proportions of businesses with Internet access (both 99%), whereas the lowest was Accommodation and food services, at 73%.

Innovation-active businesses (97%), were more likely than non innovation-active businesses (86%) to report Internet access during 2008-09.


Web presence

A web presence includes a website, home page or presence on another entity's website. Web presence excludes online listings or directories.

A web presence was reported by 42% of all businesses in 2008-09, an increase of six percentage points from 2007-08. Businesses with 200 or more persons employed were more than three times as likely to have a web presence (95%) than businesses with 0-4 persons employed (31%).

Businesses identified as being innovation-active (62%) were more than twice as likely to have a web presence than businesses who were non innovation-active (28%).


Broadband connection

Businesses with Internet access were asked to identify the main type of Internet connection used as at 30 June 2009.

Broadband, which is defined by the ABS as an 'always on' Internet connection with an access speed equal to or greater than 256kbps, was identified as the main Internet connection for 98% of businesses with the Internet in 2008-09, up from 94% in 2007-08.

Main type of broadband connection(a)(b), by employment size, 2008 - 09

0-4 persons
5-19 persons
20-199 persons
200 or more persons
Total
%
%
%
%
%

DSL
76.1
83.6
86.4
63.1
79.3
Cable
10.5
6.0
7.5
29.9
8.9
Fixed wireless
4.7
5.0
3.4
1.9
4.7
Mobile wireless
7.6
4.6
1.9
0.6
6.1
Satellite
1.3
0.7
0.5
0.2
1.0

(a) Proportions are of businesses that identified broadband as their main type of Internet connection as at 30 June 2009, in each employment size category.
(b) For the purposes of confidentiality and to maximise data availability, some output categories have been excluded due to their small number of contributors.


Overall, DSL was the most common type of broadband connection (79%), it was highest among businesses with 20-199 persons employed, at 86%. Almost a third of businesses employing 200 or more persons identified cable as the main type of broadband connection, three times the proportion of any other employment size range. Notably, 8% of businesses with 0-4 persons employed reported their main connection as mobile wireless, the highest of any employment size range for this type of broadband connection.

At industry level, broadband was most common in Financial and insurance services (99%), while it was least recorded in Accommodation and food services (72%).


Internet commerce

The 2008-09 BCS measured the proportion of Australian businesses using the Internet or web to place and/or receive orders (i.e. the incidence of Internet commerce ). Refer to Explanatory Notes 19 and 20 for the definitions used.

Internet commerce(a), by employment size, 2008 - 09

0-4 persons
5-19 persons
20-199 persons
200 or more persons
Total
%
%
%
%
%

Proportion of all businesses which:
placed orders via the Internet or web
40.6
52.8
58.7
75.1
46.0
received orders via the Internet or web
23.5
31.8
35.3
35.9
27.1

(a) Data in this table were originally published in June 2010 in the release Summary of IT Use and Innovation in Australian Business (cat. no. 8166.0).



Placing orders

All businesses were asked to indicate if they placed orders via the Internet or web. An order is defined as a commitment to purchase goods or services, whether or not payment is made online.

The likelihood of a business placing orders for goods or services via the Internet increased for each successive employment size range. Almost half of all businesses reported that they had purchased goods or services via the Internet (46%).

Proportion of businesses that placed orders, via the Internet or web, by industry, 2008-09
Graph: Proportion of businesses that placed orders, via the Internet or web, by industry, 2008-09


At industry level, businesses in Information media and telecommunications (67%) and Professional, scientific and technical services (66%) were most likely to have placed orders via the Internet or web. Businesses in the Accommodation and food services industry were the least likely to place orders via the Internet or web, at 29%.

The proportion of innovation-active businesses that placed orders via the Internet or web during 2008-09 was 63%, compared to 35% for non innovation-active businesses.


Receiving orders

All businesses were asked to indicate if they received orders via the Internet or web. An order is defined as a commitment to purchase goods or services, even if the payment is not made online. Over a quarter of businesses reported receiving orders via the Internet or web during 2008-09 (27%). The likelihood of a business receiving orders via the Internet or web increased with each successive employment size range.

Proportion of businesses that received orders, via the Internet or web, by industry, 2008-09
Graph: Proportion of businesses that received orders, via the Internet or web, by industry, 2008-09


Businesses in the Wholesale trade industry, at 45%, reported the highest proportion for receipt of orders via the Internet or web.

Innovation-active businesses (40%) were more than twice as likely to receive orders via the Internet or web than non innovation-active businesses (18%).


Income from orders received via the Internet or web (Internet income)

All businesses which reported receiving orders via the Internet or web were asked to indicate what proportion of their income from the sales of goods or services could be attributed to those orders (i.e. Internet income). The estimated value of Internet income in 2008-09 was approximately $123 billion, representing 5.2% of the income from the sales of goods or services.

Internet income as a proportion of income from goods or services(a)(b), by innovation status, by employment size, 2008 - 09

0-4 persons
5-19 persons
20-199 persons
200 or more persons
Total
%
%
%
%
%

Innovation-active businesses
6.9
9.2
6.7
5.0
6.0
Non innovation-active businesses
5.2
3.8
4.4
3.1
3.9
All businesses
5.8
6.6
5.8
4.5
5.2

(a) Proportion of total income from sales of goods or services attributable to orders received via the Internet or web during the year ended 30 June 2009.
(b) Estimates related to Internet income should be used with caution, refer to Explanatory Notes 19 and 20.


Across each successive employment size range, innovation-active businesses reported higher proportions of income from sales of goods or services attributed to orders received via the Internet or web than non innovation-active businesses.

Internet Income as a proportion of goods or services income, by industry, 2008-09
Graph: Internet Income as a proportion of goods or services income, by industry, 2008-09


At industry level, Transport, postal and warehousing (which includes air transport) recorded the highest proportion of Internet income as a proportion of goods or services (16%), yet this industry was at the lower end of the range for proportion of businesses receiving orders via the Internet or web, at 20%. Retail trade recorded the third highest proportion for receipt of orders (36%), however, the proportion of Internet income was at the lower end of the range, at 2%.


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