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Nearly a third (31 per cent) of London small businesses lack the Basic Digital Skills that could help them improve productivity and save costs according to the Lloyds Bank Business Digital Index 2017.
The Index is the largest study of its kind into the digital capabilities of small businesses and charities. The report has found that across the UK, the most digitally capable organisations are twice as likely to report an increase in turnover compared to non-digital equivalents and are also more productive. In London, 79 per cent of businesses reported saving time from being online and 58 per cent said they saved on costs.
Almost a third (32 per cent) of small businesses in the city say trading overseas is one of the key benefits of being online. However despite the advantages of embracing digital, more than a third (34 per cent) of London businesses do not have their own website and 38 per cent do not use social media.
Barriers holding London firms back from doing more online include concerns about security (37 per cent) and not seeing being online as relevant to their business (23 per cent). Although two fifths (42 per cent) of businesses in the region feel they have the skills to prevent online fraud and scams, concerningly, over half (52 per cent) said they weren’t investing anything in digital skills.
Whilst the gap between the digital capability of businesses has widened, there are reasons to be optimistic with 670,000 organisations across the UK on the cusp of having Basic Digital Skills.