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New service for transforming SMEs with ICT announced

2 February 2009

SEEDA has announced plans to launch a new service to help small businesses develop their understanding and use of ICT.

The service will be introduced through Business Link as a pilot scheme over the next three years, and aims to improve the profitability and efficiency of SMEs through the adoption of advanced ICT, helping them to adapt and survive during the downturn.

This announcement follows on from both Lord Carter’s interim Digital Britain report, published last week, and a BMG survey, commissioned by SEEDA last year, investigating business attitudes towards and usage of ICT. The former laid out the government’s plans for a fully digital Britain, with broadband in every home and business by 2012, while the latter survey showed that businesses within the South East have been slow to adopt advanced ICT – only 10% of businesses asked that already use ICT use advanced techniques.

Arthur Butterfield, SEEDA’s Regional ICT Development Manager, said: "The adoption of advanced ICT technologies can make a noticeable impact on a business’ profitability and efficiency, and can give a business a crucial edge in these difficult times. Continued adoption and exploitation of ICTs is estimated to generate an additional £35bn across the UK economy over the next five to seven years, and businesses taking advantage of SEEDA’s new business transformation service can ensure they don’t get left behind."

The announcement was made by Arthur Butterfield at an ICT Event in Ashford, in which the SEEDA/BMG survey results were discussed by local businessmen and representatives from BT, Microsoft, Alcatel-Lucent, IBM, the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), the Learning & Skills Council (LSC), Ashford Futures and Business Link.

For media enquiries, please contact:

James Fulker, SEEDA Press Officer
Tel: 01483 470 155
Email: pressoffice@seeda.co.uk

Tanya Reed, Media Relations Manager, SEEDA
Tel: 01483 470 155
Email: pressoffice@seeda.co.uk

For more information please contact our press office

Tel: 01483 470155