f you don’t offer Internet access to employees at work, you’re in the minority in Canada. Over the last three years, the number of companies offering online access to staff has jumped significantly.
According to the latest figures from Statistics Canada, 52 per cent of private-sector employees had Internet access in 2002, up from 47 per cent in 2001 and 39 per cent in 2000.
Three-quarters of all firms use the Internet
Nearly 76 per cent of Canadian companies used the Internet for one reason or another, up from 71 per cent in 2001 and 63 per cent in 2000.
Nearly all (93 per cent) businesses with 20 employees or more used the Internet in the workplace in 2002.
The proportion of businesses using the Internet advanced in nearly all industry sectors. Advances were strongest in accommodation and food services and in real estate, rental and leasing, both up about 21 per cent from 2001.
Nearly one-third of businesses have a Web site
About 31 per cent of businesses had a Web site, up from 26 per cent in 2000.
Three-quarters (74 per cent) of firms conducting business in educational services in the private sector had a Web site, the highest proportion. They were followed by the information and cultural industries sector, where 68 per cent had a Web site. Those least likely to have a Web site were in forestry, logging and support activities (nine per cent).
Intranets slowly gaining in popularity
About 15 per cent of enterprises had an internal communications network, or intranet, up from 12 per cent in 2000, according to Statistics Canada. Industries most likely to have an intranet were information and cultural industries and finance and insurance.
One-third of firms make online purchases
The number of Canadian businesses buying goods and services over the Internet continued to grow in 2002. About 32 per cent of firms bought goods or services over the Internet, up from 22 per cent in 2001 and 18 per cent in 2000.
For the fourth straight year, the proportion of businesses purchasing over the Internet was highest in the information and cultural services industry (60 per cent). This sector includes enterprises involved in publishing, broadcasting, telecommunications, information services and data processing.
Among businesses that did not buy or sell over the Internet, 48 per cent believed their goods or services did not lend themselves to Internet transactions. About 37 per cent preferred to maintain their current business model. Smaller proportions of these enterprises felt security was a concern, or that the cost of development and maintenance of a Web site enabled for e-commerce was too high.
Public sector embraces information and communication technologies
While Canadian businesses continue to show increases in the adoption of information and communication technologies, the public sector appears to have fully embraced them.
For the third straight year, nearly 100 per cent of public sector organizations used the Internet. Almost 88 per cent had a Web site and 77 per cent used an intranet, up from 85 per cent and 52 per cent in 2000, respectively.