ICT use by companies far from optimal

Although Dutch companies are making more and more use of ICT, they are still not using it to its full potential. Most companies have gone no further than having a website on the Internet. 

Development of ICT use at companies

Development of ICT use at companies

Most companies have only a website

The share of companies which used all the possibilities afforded by ICT for external data communication was still quite small in 2005 (17 percent). These companies have integrated their ICT systems with those of customers. They are in the fifth stage of development of ICT use. A website on the Internet (stage 2) was as far as 56 percent of companies had got in 2005. The percentage of companies with no external data communication at all (stage 0) fell from 12 to 3 percent between 2003 and 2005.

Development of ICT use by sector of industry, 2005

Development of ICT use by sector of industry, 2005

Large differences between sectors of industry

Computer service bureaus and energy and water companies made the most use of ICT for external data communication. In both of these sectors of industry about two-thirds of companies sold products on-line, provided on-line customer support or had integrated their systems with those of their customers (stages 3–5). For all sectors of industry this was 44 percent.

The sectors health care and welfare and construction are lagging behind in this respect. Around 70 percent of companies in the construction sector and nearly 75 percent of health care and welfare institutions had only a website on the Internet in 2005. Stages 4 and 5 had only been achieved by a small percentage of these organisations. The transport and the hotels and restaurants sectors, too, are a long way from using ICT to its full potential. 

Various underlying causes

In all sectors of industry, the larger the company or organisation, the more advanced its ICT use is. But differences in ICT use are also related to the sector of industry. Knowledge and skills, and the ability to ‘see’ where ICT can be applied play an important part in this respect. In addition, the ICT requirements of the supplier and customer networks in which the company or organisation operates also vary.

Hermanus Rietveld