8129.0 - Business Use of Information Technology, 1997-98  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 05/10/1999   
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  • Commercial business use of internet technology low - ABS (Media Release)

Commercial business use of internet technology low - ABS

At the end of June 1998 29% of employing businesses had access to the Internet and 6% had a web site/home page according to final estimates released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) today.

It is estimated that 16% of all employing businesses had gained access to the Internet prior to July 1997, 13% gained access during 1997-98 and a further 14% intended to gain access by July 1999. This lifts the expected rate of Internet access by employing businesses to 43% at June 1999.

The majority of employing businesses with Internet access at June 1998 used the Internet for email (92%), and less than a quarter (23%) used the Internet for marketing and promotional activities,

The proportion of businesses using Internet technology for selling and purchasing goods and services was also low with only 16% of businesses with Internet access using the technology for placing purchase orders and 10% using it to receive sales orders.

Only 8% of businesses with Internet access were using Internet technology as a method of making payments, and 2% to receive payments.

Better access to information was named as a benefit of the Internet by 86% of businesses with Internet access.

Other findings in the publication Business Use of Information Technology, Australia include:
  • Electronic funds transfer at point of sale (EFTPOS) facilities were offered by 15% of employing businesses;
  • 40% of employees were PC users and 14% were Internet users;
  • Of those businesses with PCs but no Internet access, 60% identified that the Internet was not suited to the nature of the business; and,
  • Total expenditure on information technology and telecommunications (IT&T) by employing businesses during 1997-98 was $23,580 million. On average, this represented $3,700 per person employed and $9,300 per PC user.

Full details are in Business Use of Information Technology, Australia, 1997-98, (cat. no. 8129.0) available from ABS bookshops in all capital cities. A summary of this publication can be found on this site. The ABS encourages media organisations with online news services to link to the main findings. Please phone us if you need assistance to do this.