FIRST RELEASE

CROATIAN BUREAU OF STATISTICS
10000 ZAGREB, ILICA 3, PHONE: +385 1 4806-111, P.O.B. 80, CROATIA

ISSN 1334-0565

 

YEAR: XLVI.

ZAGREB, 28 JANUARY, 2010

NUMBER: 2.1.8.

 

 

OBLIGED TO NOTIFY DATA SOURCE

 

 

USAGE OF INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGIES (ICT)

IN ENTERPRISES, 2009, FIRST RESULTS

 

 

Tendencies

 

-  High level of ICT integration in business conduct; 98% of enterprises use computers; 95% have the Internet access

-  Usage of broadband Internet access prevails; 72% of enterprises use some type of fixed broadband Internet connection; increase in usage of mobile Internet access

-  Benefits of the Internet: 84% of enterprises conduct financial business via the Internet; 67% of enterprises own a web site; 61% of enterprises uses e-government services

- E-commerce is growing; 31% of enterprises purchase via the Internet; 22% of enterprises sell via the Internet; significant increase of enterprises that generate more than 50% of their total commerce via the Internet.

 

 

 

 

 

Usage of information and communication technologies is an extremely important part of contemporary business conduct. The Survey showed that 98% (the same as in the previous year) of enterprises used computers in everyday business and 95% (a decrease of 2%) of enterprises had the Internet access. The Internet became a necessity for an efficient business conduct, so 57% (a decrease of 7%) of enterprises had its own web site. The Internet simplifies performing of some business processes, such as banking and financial transactions; it also allows usage of administrative public services (e-government). There are 84% (the same as in the pervious year) of enterprises that use the Internet for banking and financial services, while 61% (an increase of 5%) use the Internet for administrative purposes.

 

 

The Internet and other network technologies allow connectivity between sectors within an enterprise and the integration of business processes that contribute to more efficient business conduct. The type and speed of data transfer allow a higher quality of business conduct. Out of 95% of enterprises with the Internet access, 72% (a decrease of 16%) useed fixed broadband connection (DSL, cable, leased line). This decrease in broadband segment was caused by the increased usage of the mobile Internet in small enterprises, namely, 40% of small enterprises use the mobile Internet access. The usage of an internal communication network (Intranet) showed similar results for the last year, that is, there was a minor decrease recorded, from 31% to 29%. A minor decrease is also present in the usage of secure communication networks for the interaction with external business entities (Extranet), from 14% to 13%.

 

 

 

 

The usage of the Internet caused changes in the ways of business conduct by allowing for the integration of business processes at a higher level. There were 84% (a decrease of 2%) of enterprises that conducted banking and financial transactions via the Internet. Moreover, there was an increase in both the usage of administrative services and in staff training. Administrative services via the Internet were used by 61% (an increase of 4%) of enterprises, while a significant increease was shown in the number of enterprises that use the Internet for education and training of employees, from 18% to as much as 29%.

 

 

 

The usage of e-government services provides for a better information accessibility and speeds up a delivery of administrative procedures. There was a small increase recorded in the usage of almost all services. Out of several services available, 56% of enterprises used services to obtain information (an increase of 5%) and 54% to obtain forms (an increase of 2%). Other servies, such as returning filled in forms (37%) and the treatment of administrative procedures (36%), were somewhat less used. The service of submitting a tender proposals showed a decrease in usage, from 16% to 13%.

 

 

 

 

 

The integration of business processes and communication between business entities via the Internet allow for a more efficient offer of goods and services and their purchase and sale on the market. The Survey showed that purchases and sales via the Internet are increasing. There were 31% (an increase of 9%) of enterprises that bought products and services via the Internet, while only 23% (an increase of 11%) of enterprises offered them for sale. The share of e-commerce compared to conventional commerce was still rather low. Still, there was a significant increase in some areas.

 

There was a major increase in the number of enterprises that do more than 50% of their total sales via the Internet. After the addition of enterprises whose share of the Internet sales exceeded 25%, there can be noticed a significant increase in this segment, of as much as 20%, as compared to the previous year.

 

 

 

A realtively low share of e-commerce in the total commerce can be explained by observing the problems that enterprises have to face. The data suggest that the most noticiable problems are the impossibility of the implemetation and the need to reorganize business processes. It requires higher initial costs, but it is a better option as a long term investment. Another problem is that offered products and services are not suitable for e-commerce. It is also noticable that customers are more inclined to traditional commerce. It would be necessary to conduct a more detailed analysis in order to find  potential causes to these problems: socio-economic environment, lack of management skills, incompetitive product design and marketing, technological limitations, financial problems, etc.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The RFID technology usage is spreading steadily in business processes of enterprises. There are 4% of enterprises in the Republic of Croatia that use this technology, which is at the EU average. In well developed EU countries, this share is close to 10% and is growing continously as a replacement of bar code technology in all segments of business conduct.

 


METHODOLOGICAL NOTES

 

Purpose of the statistical survey

 

Data shown in this publication are estimates obtained through the IKT-POD Survey. This is an annual survey on the usage of information and communication technologies (ICT) and provides information on the usage of computers, the Internet, electronic commerce and other ICTs in enterprises. The data are an important source for conducting policies in the field of information society in the Republic of Croatia andin the European Union.

 

Legal framework

 

The IKT-POD Survey was conducted, according to Eurostat guidelines, in 2009 on the legal basis of the Official Statistics Act (NN, Nos. 103/03 and 75/09). It was conducted by the GfK d.o.o. agency on behalf of the Central Bureau of Statistics of the Republic of Croatia. Harmonised surveys were conducted in all EU Member States, and therefore the data are internationally comparable. The international data are available on the web site address: http://epp.eurostat.cec.eu.int, Themes Science and Technology Data. Concepts and definitions used in the IKT-POD Survey are in line with the EU Methodology for Statistics on the Information Society, 2008.

 

Observation units

 

The observation units are enterprises registered on the territory of the Republic of Croatia for performing the following activities according to the NACE classification:

C    Manufacturing

D, E   Electricity, gas and water supply

F   Construction

G   Wholesale and retail trade, repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles

H   Transport and storage

I    Accomodation and food service activities

J   Information and communications activities

K  financial and insurance activities (groups 65.1 and 65.2, classes 64.19 i 64.92, 66.12 i 66.19)

L   Real estate activities

M  Professional, scientific and technical activities (divisions 69 – 74)

N  Administrative and support service activities

 

The enterprises were also classified by the number of persons employed as small ones

(10 – 49 persons employed), medium-sized ones (50–249 persons employed) and large ones (250 or more persons employed).

 

Sample size

 

The sample consisted of 4 465 enterprises.

 

Sampling frame

 

The basis for the sampling frame was the Business Register of the Republic of Croatia (Fina 2009).

 

Data collection method

 

The data were collected by mail using printed questionnaires. The enterprises could also submit the data via the Internet by using the online form of the questionnaire. That possibility was used by 38% of the enterprises that took part in the survey.

 

The reference period for the main variables was January 2009. For the questions concerning the Internet sales and the Internet orders, the reference period was 2008.

 

Non-response rates

 

Out of the whole population of enterprises (12 380) 4 465 units were taken into the sample.

There were 2 580 enterprises that took part in the Survey, which means that the response rate was 58% and the eligibility rate was 99.5%. The net sample used for tabulation and grossing-up consisted of 2 568 enterprises because 16 reports were not taken into account. The non-response rate was 42%.

 

Weighting

 

RIM weighting procedure (iterative proportional fitting – IPF) was used for the grossing-up. The extrapolation weight was calculated for each participant of the Survey, while the calculation method included a NACE category, number of employees, of the total turnover and the total income of an enterprise.

 

The source of information on these variables was the Business Register of the Republic of Croatia (Fina 2009). The calculated weights enable the calculation of the data for the whole population of the enterprises; there were 12 380 enterprises at the beginning of 2009.

 

Definitions and explanations

 

ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) consists of one or of a set of software applications that integrate information and processes across the several business functions of the enterprise. Typically, ERP integrates planning, procurement, sales, marketing, customer relationship, finance and human resources.

 

The ERP software can be delivered either as a customised or a package software. These latter are single-vendor, enterprise wide, software packages, but built in a modular way allowing enterprises to customise the system to their specific activity implementing only some of those modules. The ERP system typically has the following characteristics:

1.   It is designed for a client-server environment (traditional or web-based);

2.   It integrates the majority of business processes;

3.   It processes a large majority of business transactions;

4.   It uses a database that stores each piece of data only once;

5.   It allows for the access to data in real time.

 

CRM (Customer Relationship Management) is a management methodology that places a customer in the centre of a business activity. It is based on an intensive use of information technologies to collect, integrate, process and analyze information related to customers. One can distinguish between the following two models:

1.   Operational CRM – integration of the front office business processes that are in contact with the customer.

2.   Analytical CRM – analysis of the information available in the enterprise on its customers by using data mining method, This aims in       gathering in-depth knowledge of the customers and to meet their needs.

 

E-invoice is an invoice in which all data are in digital format, so it can be processed automatically. A distinctive feature of an e-invoice is automation. E-invoice will be automatically transferred to the inter-company invoicing from the invoice issuer's or service provider’s system directly into the recipient's financial or other application. The transmission protocol might be XML, EDI or other similar format.

 

E-signature is a kind of electronic information attached to or associated with a contract or another message used as a legal equivalent to a written signature. Electronic signature is often used to mean either a signature imputed to a text via one or several electronic means or for cryptographic purposes by adding non-repudiation or message integrity features to a document. Digital signature usually refers specifically to a cryptographic signature, either on a document or on a lower-level data structure.

 

For either of them to be considered a signature, they must have a legal value, otherwise they are just a piece of communication. Some web pages and software EULAs claim that various electronic actions are legally binding signatures and so are instances of electronic signature. For example, a web page might announce that, by accessing the site at all, you have agreed to a certain set of terms and conditions.

The legal status of such claims is uncertain. An electronic signature can also be a digital signature if it uses cryptographic methods to assure both message integrity and authenticity. Because of the use of message integrity mechanisms, any changes to a digitally signed document will be readily detectable if tested for, and the attached signature cannot be taken as valid.

 

It is important to understand that cryptographic signatures are much more than an error checking technique akin to checksum algorithms, or even high reliability error detection and correction algorithms such as Reed-Solomon. These can offer no assurance that the text has not been tampered with, as all can be regenerated as needed by a tamperer. In addition, no message integrity protocols include error correction, for to do so would destroy the tampering detection feature.

 

Popular electronic signature standards include the OpenPGP standard supported by PGP and GnuPG, and some of the S/MIME standards (available in Microsoft Outlook). All current cryptographic digital signature schemes require recipient to have a way to obtain the sender's public key with assurances that the public key and sender identity belong together and message integrity measures which assure that neither the authorization nor the value of the public key can be surreptitiously changed. A digitally signed text may also be encrypted for protection during transmission, but this is not required when the digital signature has been properly carried out. Confidentiality requirements will be the guiding consideration.

 

SSL/TLS Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) and Transport Layer Security (TLS) are cryptographic protocols which provide secure communications on the Internet. SSL provides endpoint authentication and communications privacy over the Internet using cryptography. In typical use, only the server is authenticated (i.e. its identity is ensured) while the client remains unauthenticated; mutual authentication requires Public Key Infrastructure deployment to clients. The protocols allow client/server applications to communicate in a way designed to prevent eavesdropping, tampering, and message forgery.

 

Free/Open Source software refers to a computer software under an open source license. An open-source license is a copyright license for computer software that makes the source code available under terms that allow for modification and redistribution without having to pay the original author. Such licenses may have additional restrictions such as a requirement to preserve the name of the authors and the copyright statement within the code.

 

Related to the Open Source Definition is the Free Software Definition by the Free Software Foundation, which attempts to capture what is required for a program license to qualify as being free-libre software. In practice, licenses that meet the Open Source Definition almost always also meet the Free Software Definition. All licenses reported to meet the Free Software Definition as of 2005 also meet the Open Source Definition.

 

Digital products/services Goods/services that can be ordered and delivered directly to a computer over the Internet, e.g. music, videos, games, computer software, online newspapers, consulting services, etc.

 

xDSL (Digital Subscriber Line) Broadband technology designed to increase bandwidth for data transfer available over standard copper telephone wires; includes ADSL, SDSL, HDSL, RADSL, VDSL, DSL-Lite, etc. A DSL line can carry both data and voice signals and the data part of the line is continuously connected.

 

ISDN (Integrated Services Digital Network) is a digital network that enables transmission of voice, picture and data at the same time (128 Kb/s).

 

Modem is a device that modulates outgoing digital signals from a computer or other digital device to analogue signals for a conventional copper telephone line and demodulates the incoming analogue signal and converts it to a digital signal for the digital device.

 

Wireless access is the use of wireless technologies such as radio-frequency, infrared, microwave, or other types of electromagnetic or acoustic waves, for the last internal link between users devices (such as computers, printers, etc) and a LAN backbone line(s) within the enterprise’s working premises.  It includes mainly Wi-fi and Bluetooth technologies.

 

E-commerce are transactions conducted over the Internet protocol-based networks and over other computer-mediated networks. Goods and services are ordered via those networks, but the payment and the ultimate delivery of the good or service may be conducted on-line or off-line. Orders received via telephone, facsimile, or manually typed e-mails are not counted as electronic commerce.

 

E-mail is an lectronic transmission of messages, including text and attachments, from one computer to another, located either within or outside the organisation. This includes electronic mail by Internet or other computer networks.

 

Local Area Network (LAN) is an internal computer network is a group of at least two computers connected together, using a telecommunication system for the purpose of communicating and sharing resources within an enterprise. It typically connects personal computers, workstations, printers, servers, and other devices. It is used usually for internal file exchange between connected users; intra business communications (internal e-mail, internal web interface, etc); shared access to devices (printers, etc) and other applications (databases) or for joint business processes. Network is usually confined to a single building or closely located group of buildings allowing users to exchange data, share a printer, master a common computer, etc.

 

 

EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) is used for the electronic interchange of data, documents and orders inside the enterprise and between the enterprises. Data interchange flows automatically between the computer systems, between partners, and uses standard and encrypted form.

 

The Internet relates to the Internet protocol-based networks: www, Extranet via the Internet, EDI via the Internet, Internet-ready mobile phones.

 

Intranet is an internal company communications network using Internet protocol allowing communications within an organisation.

 

Extranet is a closed network that uses Internet protocols to securely share enterprise's information with suppliers, vendors, customers or other businesses partners. It can take the form of a secure extension of an Intranet that allows external users to access some parts of the enterprise's Intranet. It can also be a private part of the enterprise's website, where business partners can navigate after being authenticated in a login page.

 

Website is a location on the World Wide Web identified by a Web address. Collection of Web files on a particular subject that includes a beginning file called a home page. Information is encoded with specific languages (Hypertext mark-up language (HTML), XML, Java) readable with a Web browser, like Mozilla Firefox, Opera, or Microsoft's Internet Explorer.

 

RFID (Radio Frequency Identification)is a technology that uses radio frequency to exchnage information between portable devices and computer. RFID system includes data labels, antennas which communicate with data labels and a controller device that manages the communication between antenna and computer. Data labels are stored on product or packaging and serve as a mobile database.

 

Publishing

 

The results of the survey are published in an official first release entitled Information Society – ICT Usage and E-Commerce in Enterprises. More detailed data will be published on the web portal of the Central Bureau of Statistics: http://www.dzs.hr

 

Totals of the data were published for enterprises employing 10 or more persons. The Eurostat publishes data of the EU countries for enterprises employing 10 or more persons, which enables comparability of the data between the Republic of Croatia and other EU countries.

 

Abbreviaions

 

e.g.              for example (from Latin: exempli gratia)

etc.              and so on (from Latin: et cetera)

EULA           End User License Agreement

Eurostat      Statistical Office of the European Communities

Fina            Financial agency

Kb/s             kilobyte per second

NACE          Statistical Classification of Economic Activities in the
                    European Community

NN               Narodne novine, official gazette of the Republic of Croatia