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Summary of IT Use and Innovation in Australian Business

This release presents key indicators on the incidence of use of information technology and innovation in Australian business

Reference period
2016-17

Business use of information technology - summary

About business use of information technology statistics

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).

Detailed information on these indicators can be found via the Data downloads section.

Business use of information technology, selected indicators(a) - 2014-15 to 2016-17

   2014-152015-162016-17
Estimated number of businesses(b)'000
776
799
831
Businesses with(c):    
 internet access%
94.8
95.3
95.4
 web presence%
48.6
50.1
51.1
 social media presence%
34.0
38.2
40.4
Businesses with internet access(c):    
 broadband as the main type of connection%
99.2
99.3
99.4
Businesses that:    
 placed orders via the internet%
55.7
57.0
59.3
 received orders via the internet%
33.8
36.8
37.1
Internet income(d)$b
285.5
321.4
394.3
a. Proportions are of all businesses in each output category.
b. Business counts are provided for contextual information only. Refer to Methodology 21 and 22.
c. As at the end of the reference period, 30 June.
d. Refer to Methodology 16 to 18.
 
  • For the first time, over half of businesses in the Retail trade industry (59%) had a web presence, while 56% had a social media presence.
  • More than a third of businesses reported having received orders via the internet (37%), with income obtained from these orders totalling an estimated $394 billion. The scope of internet income estimates includes both business to business and business to customer orders and as such is not adjusted to include only the value-added component of a sale. Further data relating to the proportion of income from internet orders received will be released in Selected Characteristics of Australian Business (cat. no. 8167.0) scheduled for release on 16 August 2018.

Innovation in Australian business statistics - summary

About innovation in Australian business statistics

Innovation is generally considered to be the development or introduction of new or significantly improved goods, services, processes or methods. As innovation is often seen as a continuous process and aspects can be intangible, it can be difficult to measure. An international framework, the 'Oslo Manual, Guidelines for Collecting and Interpreting Innovation Data', has been developed jointly by Eurostat and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) to aid in measuring the process of innovation. This manual, updated in 2005, forms the basis of concepts and definitions used to measure the incidence of innovation by the Business Characteristics Survey (BCS). The BCS collects information about the broad types and status of innovation in Australian business for a 12 month reference period. For more detail about these concepts and definitions, please refer to the Glossary.

More detailed data about innovation in Australian business during 2016-17 will be released in Innovation in Australian Business (cat. no. 8158.0) on 19 July 2018 and Selected Characteristics of Australian Business, 2016-17 (cat. no. 8167.0) on 16 August 2018.

Summary of innovative activity in Australian business, selected indicators(a) - 2014-15 to 2016-17

   2014-152015-162016-17
Estimated number of businesses(b)'000
776
799
831
Businesses that introduced any new or significantly improved(c):    
 goods or services%
19.3
22.4
17.4
 operational processes%
15.6
19.1
16.7
 organisational/managerial processes%
17.4
22.6
17.3
 marketing methods%
16.5
19.7
16.4
Businesses that introduced innovation (innovating businesses)%
38.2
43.1
38.3
Businesses with innovative activity that was(c):    
 still in development(d)%
21.2
24.1
20.9
 abandoned%
7.7
6.7
7.1
Businesses with any Innovative activity (innovation-active businesses)%
45.0
48.7
44.5
a. Proportions are of all businesses in each output category.
b. Business counts are provided for contextual information only. Refer to Methodology 21 and 22.
c. Businesses may be counted in more than one category.
d. As at the end of the reference period, 30 June.
 
  • The proportion of businesses that were innovation-active (i.e. those that undertook any innovative activity) in 2016-17 was 44%.
  • By employment size, 70% of businesses with 200 or more persons employed were innovation-active, compared to 36% of businesses with 0 to 4 persons employed.
  • By industry, Information media and telecommunications had the highest proportion of businesses that had introduced at least one type of innovation (54%) with goods or services (29%) the most common type of innovation introduced.
  • Just over one in five businesses had innovation still in development (21%) as at 30 June 2017, with marketing methods (10%) the most common type of innovation still in development.
     

Inquiries

Further information about these and related statistics is available from the ABS website www.abs.gov.au, or contact the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070.

Data downloads

Business use of information technology, selected indicators, by employment size, by industry, 2016-17

Summary of innovation in Australian business, by employment size, by industry, 2016-17

Previous catalogue number

This release previously used catalogue number 8166.0.