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8133.0 - Business Use of Information Technology, Preliminary, 1997-98  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 30/04/1999   
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April 30, 1999
Embargoed: 11:30 AM (AEST)

Business use of information technology increases

The proportion of employing businesses in Australia using personal computers (PCs) has increased from 49% in June 1994 to 64% in June 1998 according to a publication released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

The publication, Business Use of Information Technology, Australia, provides summary details on the use of information technology and telecommunications (IT&T) by employing businesses in Australia as at the end of June 1998. This information is important as recent advances in IT&T has enabled new ways of communicating and doing business electronically, which can have an impact on the way businesses operate in the future. Among the key findings in the publication are that:
  • Only 20% of businesses had either local or wide area computer networks (LAN/WAN).
  • 30% of businesses had access to the Internet - 29% utilised email facilities and 26% web browser facilities.
  • There were three PCs for every ten persons employed. However there were eight PCs for every ten authorised PC users.
  • IT&T employees providing in-house or external IT&T services accounted for less than 3% of total employment in businesses. On average, every in-house IT&T employee supported 27 PC users.

The publication also provides business IT&T usage details by industry and by size of business as at the end of June 1998. Some of these key findings are that:
  • The industries with the highest usage of PCs were Mining (80% of businesses), Property and business services (79%) and Wholesale trade (76%). The industries with the lowest usage of PCs were Personal and other services (44%) and Accommodation, cafes and restaurants (47%).
  • The proportion of businesses using PCs increases with the size of the business. Nearly all businesses employing 100 or more persons used PCs (99.8%), whereas just over half of the businesses employing 1 to 4 persons used PCs (55%).
  • Access to the Internet was highest in Mining (47% of businesses), Property and business services (46%) and Communication services (45%). Industries with low proportion of businesses accessing the Internet were Accommodation, cafes and restaurants (16%), Retail trade (17%), Construction (20%) and Transport and storage (20%).
  • Larger businesses were more likely to have Internet access and email and/or web browser access. Businesses employing 100 or more persons reported that 90% had access to the Internet whereas businesses employing 1 to 4 persons reported that only 26% had access to the Internet.

Full details are in Business Use of Information Technology, Australia, 1997-98, Preliminary (cat. no. 8133.0) available from ABS bookshops in all capital cities. A summary of the publication may be found on this site.

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