U.K. Ranks Third in IT Sophistication

LONDON — The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has released its annual benchmarking report, and the results show that the United Kingdom has advanced four spots to become the third most sophisticated country in terms of information technology sophistication and use of e-commerce, lagging behind only Ireland and Sweden.

Currently, 69 percent of U.K. businesses are broadband-enabled, up 11 percent from the previous year.

Another factor which contributed to the rating was the finding that over 30 percent of small businesses are engaged in e-commerce and 73 percent of U.K. businesses provide customer service information online.

The study, conducted by Booz Allen Hamilton, also revealed a drop in United States and Canadian IT sophistication.

"Businesses in the UK are deploying information and Communication Technology (ICT) more pervasively and innovative than ever before," said Minister of State for E-commerce, Energy & Competitiveness Michael O'Brien. "Our report this year contains much good news for business use of ICT in the U.K.: there are signs that the digital divide between large and small businesses is closing, with the U.K.’s micro and small businesses showing significant gains in the uptake of web sites and trading online. The U.K. has also become a leader in the deployment of some important new technologies such as wireless LANs and Voice over IP."

Comparing the uptake of e-commerce in the U.K. with that of other countries, O'Brien commented that "[...]the level of ICT deployment by U.K. businesses has become more sophisticated versus their peers in other nations. It is no longer ICT for ICTs sake; this year, discriminating and selective application of ICT has become the dominant theme."

A breakout of the online adult industry's impact on the study's findings was not available.