Key indicators of business use of IT include: internet access; the use of broadband; web presence; social media presence; and internet commerce (i.e. the placing and receiving of orders via the internet). These indicators are collected annually, while all other statistics in this release are collected biennially.
The commentary below builds on information from Summary of IT Use and Innovation in Australian Business, 2015-16 (cat. no. 8166.0). Detailed information that underpins the tables, graphs and commentary below can be found via the Data downloads section.
All data relates to the 2015-16 reference period:
- DSL remains the most common type of broadband connection for Australian businesses (62%). Businesses with 200 or more persons employed had the lowest use of DSL (50%) as the main type of broadband connection and had the highest use of Fibre to The Premises (FTTP) (30%).
- Just under a third of all businesses (31%) had both a social media and web presence. Social media presence was reported by 38% of all businesses. The most frequently reported use of social media was to develop company image or market products (79%), followed by communicating with customers (70%).
- Financial activities (including online banking, invoicing and making payments) was the most commonly reported business internet activity by all businesses (87%) followed by business use of the internet to enable working from home (46%). Working from home was most prevalent in the Financial and insurance services and the Information media and telecommunications industries (71%).
- The use of paid cloud computing services increased with each successive employment size range, from 25% for businesses with 0-4 persons employed to 60% for businesses with 200 or more persons employed.
- Just under a third of businesses reported the use of paid cloud computing services (31%). Of those businesses, software was the most common paid cloud computing service used (85%), followed by storage capacity (60%).
- Almost two thirds of businesses had no factors that limited the use of paid cloud computing services (65%). Insufficient knowledge of cloud computing services (18%) was the most common factor that limited the use of paid cloud computing services.
Digital technologies in Australian businesses
Statistics relating to digital technology, management practises and internet security are presented in this release for the first time.
- Proportions are of businesses that reported internet access.
- Businesses could select either; not at all, a small extent, a moderate extent or a major extent.
- More than half of all businesses with internet access (53%) reported that mobile internet was of a major importance to their business.
- In 2015-16, 16% of businesses experienced internet security incidents or breaches. Downtime of service was the most common impact (54%) of a security incident or breach.
- During the year ended 30 June 2016, 29% of businesses implemented at least one management practice for the use of Information and communication technologies (ICT). The most commonly implemented management practice by Australian business was the contracting of external IT consultants (12%).
Factors significantly changing ICT use, by employment size(a)(b), 2015-16
|0-4 persons||5-19 persons||20-199 persons||200 or more persons||Total|
|Loss/reduction skills or capability||2.3||1.7||1.9||1.4||2.0|
|Enhanced digital skills or capability||5.9||7.6||9.7||13.5||6.8|
|Lack of access to digital infrastructure||7.2||7.8||8.2||3.1||7.5|
|Improved access to digital infrastructure||3.6||3.8||7.2||7.2||3.9|
|Increased cost of digital technology or services||4.6||5.6||5.9||4.5||5.0|
|Decreased cost of digital technology or services||2.0||1.3||2.0||3.3||1.8|
|Competition from new market entrants||3.7||5.6||5.7||4.5||4.5|
|Access to global markets||1.7||1.4||2.7||2.7||1.7|
|Creation of new markets from online communities||2.2||3.5||2.0||3.0||2.6|
a. Proportions are of all businesses in each output category during the reference period ending 30 June 2016.
b. Businesses could identify more than one factor.
- By employment size, enhanced digital skills or capabilities was reported as the most common factor that significantly changed the way businesses with 200 or more persons employed used ICT (14%). Conversely, lack of access to digital infrastructure was the most common factor for businesses with 0-4 persons employed (7%).
Selected industry data
Detailed information on all industries can be found via the Data downloads section.
Agriculture, forestry and fishing industry
- More than three in five businesses that reported security incidents or breaches in the Agriculture, forestry and fishing industry experienced corruption of hardware or software as a result of a security incident or breach (61%).
- Businesses in the Agriculture, forestry and fishing industry reported insufficient knowledge of cloud computing services (30%) as the factor that most limited or prevented their use of paid cloud computing services.
- Lack of access to digital infrastructure (17%) was recorded as the factor that most significantly changed the way the industry used ICT.
- Agriculture, forestry and fishing industry had the highest proportion of businesses that reported the use of mobile wireless (28%), fixed wireless (22%) and satellite (15%) as their main type of internet connection.
- Proportions are of all businesses that used broadband as the main type of internet connection in each output category.
- Businesses identified the main type of broadband connection as at the end of the reference period, 30 June 2016.
- Other broadband includes connection types such as ATM and frame relay. Refer to the Glossary.
- Data analytics was recorded as being of major importance to 18% of businesses in the Mining industry. Another 18% indicated that data analytics was of moderate importance to their business.
- The Mining industry had the highest proportion of businesses that reported that they significantly changed the way the industry used ICT as a result of cyber attacks (8%).
- While 16% of businesses in the Mining industry recorded having experienced internet security incidents or breaches, 11% of these were impacted by the theft of business, confidential or proprietary information.
Wholesale trade industry
- The Wholesale trade industry had reported an equal highest (with the Information, media and telecommunications industry) proportion of businesses that used the internet for information gathering or researching for identifying future market trends (40%).
- Risk of a security breach was a factor that limited the use of paid cloud computing for 11% of businesses in this industry.
- Just over one in five businesses (21%) reported experiencing internet security incidents or breaches.
Information, media and telecommunications industry
- The Information media and telecommunication industry had the highest proportion of businesses that used paid cloud computing services (57%). Of these, 83% reported they used paid cloud computing services for software.
- More than two thirds of businesses in the Information media and telecommunication industry that experienced internet security incidents or breaches were impacted with a loss of staff productivity (67%).
- The Information, media and telecommunication industry reported the highest proportion of businesses that implemented management practices for the use of ICT through the introduction or change a digital business strategy (13%) and approval of investment in new digital technologies or infrastructure (17%).
Finance and insurance services industry
- The Financial and insurance services industry recorded the highest proportion of businesses that experienced internet security incidents or breaches (22%).
- Proportions are of all businesses in each output category.
- Businesses could select either, Yes, No, or Don't Know.
- The most commonly reported factor limiting or preventing the use of paid cloud computing in the Finance and insurance services industry was the risk of a security breach (22%). Uncertainty of the location of data was recorded as a factor by 16% of businesses within the industry, and insufficient knowledge of cloud computing by 13%.
Further information about these and related statistics is available from the ABS website, or contact the National Information and Referral service on 1300 135 070.