Feeds

Small firms must be helped online, Parliament says

It's up to the government to lead the way - gawd help us all

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Reducing security risks from open source software

Ditch the jargon and cut costs, that was the message from yesterday's Parliamentary IT Committee (Pitcom) committee meeting on ecommerce and small businesses. The meeting, entitled "The Quick and the Dead, Ecommerce and Small Firms", was held between members of Pitcom and the IT industry, looking at how to encourage small businesses to go online. Andrew Boswell, ICL chief technology officer, said the government must keep the Internet message simple and relevant. "The language of the Information Age can be very off-putting to people who can't identify with it," he said. Boswell also said early adopters needed to be encouraged. [Isn't 'early adopter' a bit jargony? Ed] He asked for the introduction of a Queen's Award for Ecommerce to complement the existing Electronic Commerce Awards, started by the DTI this year. Private sector advisory groups, such as small business advisors in banks, must also encourage small businesses to get online, he said. "These must be trained and activated as evangelists for electronic commerce." The other speaker at the meeting, held in the Houses of Parliament, was head of Sage's software division, Mark Searles. The first hurdle was getting small companies to understand exactly what ecommerce was, he stressed. They should be sign-posted to free Internet access, and educated on the importance of ecommerce to their business, he said. "It needs to be easy and cheap to get online," said Searles. "The barriers have to be taken away, and the small business mindset changed. We need to give ongoing support to small businesses and remove the fear factor." But difficulties still lay in government itself, the committee said. The ecommerce idea needed to be sold to the rest of government and the public sector before real progress could be made. MPs needed to be persuaded to use email, official forms needed to be downloadable from the Web, and the government should become a cyber role model. ®

Eight steps to building an HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
White? Male? You work in tech? Let us guess ... Twitter? We KNEW it!
Grim diversity numbers dumped alongside Facebook earnings
HP, Microsoft prove it again: Big Business doesn't create jobs
SMEs get lip service - what they need is dinner at the Club
Bose says today is F*** With Dre Day: Beats sued in patent battle
Music gear giant seeks some of that sweet, sweet Apple pie
Amazon Reveals One Weird Trick: A Loss On Almost $20bn In Sales
Investors really hate it: Share price plunge as growth SLOWS in key AWS division
Dude, you're getting a Dell – with BITCOIN: IT giant slurps cryptocash
1. Buy PC with Bitcoin. 2. Mine more coins. 3. Goto step 1
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.