A survey of the top 500 companies in Ireland by the Marketing Centre for Small Business found that 88 percent now have Internet connections, compared to 74 percent in March of 1997. The number of companies with Web sites has also increased, from 42 percent to 60.7 percent in the same time period.
Of the Irish companies with an Internet connection, the study found 32.9 percent had there own connection, while 5 percent used an Internet service provider.
Among the uses Irish companies gave for their sites:
- 44.6 percent used their site to display information about the company
- 17.1 percent used it for contacts and addresses
- 11.8 percent hosted their parent company’s site
- 10.8 percent used it for advertising and PR
- 9.6 percent ran competitions and took sales orders via the Internet
- 5 percent have a fully interactive site, where e-commerce was being undertaken, with both orders being placed and payment being made over the site.
Of the 39.3 percent that did not have a Web site, 31.5 percent stated they were currently constructing one, with 12.3 percent expecting to have one within a year. Nearly 20.5 percent of those surveyed said that they had no need for a Web site as they were only said the parent held the Web site.
More than half (55.2 percent) of the companies surveyed have an Intranet, and the use of email by Irish businesses has become widespread, the survey found. More than 40 percent of those surveyed used email for conducting business, saying it allowed them to send more information at faster pace, provided for a direct global connection, and involved less paperwork. A large number of respondents said email had now become the standard communication link in the company.
The survey was conducted in October of 1998 on behalf of MIDAS-NET of Ireland. Of the companies surveyed, 41.3 percent were Irish-owned firms and 58.7 percent were foreign-owned.