Small firms come of age in e-commerce use

UK small businesses are making better and more sophisticated use of information and communications technology (ICT) than ever before, according to the organisers of the annual E-Commerce Awards.

The Department of Trade & Industry, along with not-for-profit organisation InterForum, runs the awards that celebrate the effective and innovative use of ICT by small and medium-sized businesses. From the first awards in 1999, where an award was given for “most innovative use of the fax”, small firms have demonstrated that they are now using technologies such as broadband, mobile and wireless and teleworking.

And they appear to be making the most of these new technologies too. For example, small firms are not only using the internet simply to set up a website and establish an online presence, they are also using it to create efficiencies in the day-to-day running of their operations, in areas such as communication.

Paul Keegan, DTI, says, “It is absolutely fantastic to see so many organisations using technologies in such innovative ways and really transforming the way they work. The quality of this year’s entries from all the categories demonstrates the great advances UK small and medium businesses are making with their application of information and communication technologies, integrating them across all parts of their business to improve competitiveness, reduce costs and enhance efficiencies.”

Entries for this year’s E-Commerce Awards have closed, and winners of the regional and national heats will soon be announced. For more information, go to www.ecommerce-awards.co.uk.

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