Eight out of ten British companies see the development of the Internet as a business opportunity, according to a survey of the top 1,000 companies carried out on behalf of Barclays Bank.
The survey found that over a third of companies already have an Web site of some description. Of the 62 per cent which were not yet online, 42 per cent thought they would need to be by the end of the century.
Audience Selection, which wrote the report, said the Internet was of particular interest to companies as a means of fast, cost-effective communication - 66 per cent envisaged using it for communicating with customers and other companies.
Almost half of the companies surveyed said they would use the Internet to order and purchase goods or supplies from other companies. Forty per cent thought it would be most useful for advertising and 44 per cent believed it would help sell their goods and services direct.
Almost three quarters of companies were concerned about the lack of security on the Internet, while more than half were worried about their employees surfing on company time. Around one third said they were worried the Internet would lead to increased competition in their respective markets.
Commenting on the survey, Roger Alexander, managing director of Barclays' Emerging Markets Unit, said: 'There is no evidence from our survey that British businesses are being left behind on the hard shoulder of the Internet superhighway.'
Barclays publishes a free information guide called Using the Internet as a Business Tool.
Call 0800 400170 for a copy of the survey
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