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Evaluation of E-business
E-business support in Scottish Enterprise Ayrshire (SEA), channelled through the E-Business Demonstration Centre (E-BDC), aimed to address the lag between e-adoption in Ayrshire and the rest of Scotland. The evaluation aimed to: evaluate the effectiveness of the E-BDC and its performance against the original objectives; review and make recommendations on the effectiveness of integration and referrals from Business Gateway and SEA Account and Client Managers; evaluate the impact of the various approaches to delivering e-business support in SEA; interview a random sample of organisations who have used the E-BDC; review and compare the support and the E-BDC with similar centres nationally or internationally; and evaluate overall value for money.
The methodology consisted of: an inception meeting; desk research; primary research with E-Business Advisers and a sample of Account and Client Managers and Business Gateway Advisers; detailed interviews with a sample of 20 companies; and analysis and recommendations.
In general, the e-business support received high satisfaction ratings. The E-BDC supported a total of 836 interventions in the last year at a cost per intervention of £700, representing good value for money when the considerable impact is taken into account. In Ayrshire, 39% were interested in systems-related support and indicates a more holistic approach to e-business.
There is a need to engage with the volume market to encourage connection to the internet. SE Ayrshire should continue to work on encouraging broadband take-up and investigate the appropriateness of more advanced connections such as wireless connectivity. Recommends that SE Ayrshire should focus intensive support on Account and Client managed companies, but ensure that the market failures in the universal market are still being addressed through cost-effective volume interventions. The issue of improving communication with Account and Client Managers should be seen as a priority. The E-BDC should be promoted as the main source of information on e-business and E-business Advisers should continue to work closely with the Business Gateway.
Full Report (260 KB, pdf)
|Consultant||DTZ Pieda Consulting|
|Theme/Sector||Company specific, Business infrastructure, Digital markets and enabling technologies, Enterprise, Support to existing/growth businesses, Sectors|