The 3 Key Findings In The Lloyds Bank Business And Charity Digital Index

Since 2014, Lloyds Bank has been publishing a Business and Charity Digital Index that measures the digital skills and capability of charities and small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the UK. Using a unique set of online data, the Index is the largest and indeed, only measure of its kind.
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For the first time, Lloyds Bank has provided a five-year overview of the data it has analysed, allowing comparisons to be made going back to the inaugural year, 2014. The report provides valuable insights into the connections between digital and organisational productivity, the importance of diversity in the workforce, and the issues surrounding cybersecurity.

Here are the three key takeaways from the five-year overview of the Lloyds Bank Business and Charity Digital Index:

1. Organisations have made significant progress in the digital sphere over the past five years.

An all-record number of SMEs and charities are online—99%, up from 92% of SMEs and 76% of charities in 2014. As more and more organisations acknowledge the importance of their online operations, there are far fewer of them categorised at the lowest level of digital capability. Conversely, the number of organisations at the highest level has jumped considerably: a 425% increase among charities, and a 72% increase for SMEs.

2. There’s still an £85 billion productivity gap to be closed.

Lloyd Bank’s analysis indicates that organisations with low digital capability could unlock up to an additional £84.5 billion in turnover if they were to step up to a high level of digital capability. The greatest area of untapped development is sole traders—41% are ranked as having low capability, and if they were to develop high levels of digital capability, they could individually realize up to £24,000 in turnover per year.

3. All organisations could make improvements in certain areas of digital transformation.

The following areas represent opportunities for charities and SMEs at all levels of digital capability:

  1. Benefit Recognition. The Index shows that many organisations don’t acknowledge or fully understand the value provided by their digital efforts, failing to attribute sales increases to their advances in the digital sphere.

  2. Accessibility for all. More than 10 million internet users in the UK have a registered disability, but less than 5% of SME and charity websites meet all current international web accessibility guidelines.

  3. Workforce diversity. Right now, 81% of tech jobs in the UK are held by men, and only 19% of SME leaders are women—despite the fact that women in business are 18% more likely to possess basic digital skills than men.

  4. Cybersecurity. Protecting data and personal information on the internet is an ongoing challenge. Currently, 72% of SMEs have “robust security infrastructures,” but only 30% feel that they are providing adequate protection for their customers. Cybersecurity remains one of the most highly prized digital skills.

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