Just under 20 percent of medium-sized Australian businesses still don't have a web presence, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, contributing to the more than half of all Australian business that are invisible online.
The ABS released its IT Use and Innovation in Australian Business survey - a result of a partnership with the Department of Communications to improve its figures covering the Australian economy - today. It surveyed a sample of 6640 businesses.
A key finding of the report was that a surprising number of Australian businesses still lack an active web presence.
Just 47.1 percent of Australian businesses have an online presence; a figure that has remained stable since the previous year.
The survey results show a large percentage of microbusinesses with four staff or less (63 percent) and small businesses with between five and 19 staff (41.9 percent) don’t have a web presence.
However, even among medium-sized enterprises - those with between 20 and 199 employees - around 19 are not present online.
There is a significant variation between sectors when it comes to the percentage with a website.
In agriculture, forestry and fishing, a mere 13.3 percent of businesses have a web presence. Likewise, only 20.1 percent of logistics (transport, postal and warehousing) businesses and 37.9 percent of construction businesses have a website.
However, even in the information, media and telecommunications industry, the sector with the highest penetration rate, more than a quarter (25.6 percent) of businesses surveyed do not have a web presence.
Digital investment grows
Despite a large number of web holdouts, there is a large year-on-year upswing in the number of companies investing in IT.
The figures show 42.5 percent of Australian businesses had introduced some form of business innovation during 2013-14, up from 36.6 percent during 2012-13.
Nearly a quarter introduced new goods and services. A significant percentage of businesses also invested in new organisational or managerial processes (21.7 percent), digital marketing methods (20.3 percent), and organisational processes (17.9 percent).
While the percentage of businesses currently developing some form of business innovation jumped to 24.7 percent (up from 22.8 percent a year earlier), the percentage of businesses abandoning a project during the financial year also increased (from 5.9 percent to 8.4 percent).