Grants are going a-begging as Dublin firms begin to tech up
One in 12 small firms has applied to access the Government's €2,500 online grant, according to a survey of 600 firms.
The survey, conducted by Amarach Research on behalf of the telecoms company Magnet, also shows that just 3pc of small firms have availed of the grant, which applies to companies of under 10 people and €2m in annual revenue.
The grant is applied for through local enterprise boards.
The survey also showed that almost half of Dublin-based small to medium-sized businesses say they will invest more in IT equipment and processes this year.
Large SMEs will up their IT investment most, with 56pc saying that they intend to spend in this area.
However, just 23pc of small firms with under five staff will invest in IT this year. And only a quarter of midlands-based firms will do the same.
Use of traditional landlines still dominates SME communications outside Dublin, with 88pc of small firms outside the capital still relying on copper-based landlines. Amarach Research claims that this costs SMEs €266m per year, although it does not say how much might be saved by using alternative methods.
However, over a quarter of Dublin-based businesses have moved from copper landlines to cloud-based telephone lines, according to the survey.
Cloud services, in general, are most popular with Dublin SMEs, with 45pc opting for the online services. Just 14pc of small firms with under five staff use cloud services, according to the survey.
Dublin-based SMEs are also up to three times more likely to rely on smartphones for work-related data activities, with 43pc of SMEs in the capital using their handsets to access work services online.
By contrast, just 14pc of SMEs in border counties use their smartphones for work-related data.
4G is scarce in rural areas, while it has been rolled out extensively in Dublin.