9.2.3 Why to use Internet and how can it support innovation?

More and more companies are going online because no other method can bring so many benefits and reach so many potential customers at such a low cost. We have to consider some basic advantage of the Internet and how it can support innovation.

  • intensify communication with your networking partner
  • ease access to new information and newest research results
  • stretch the reach of marketing and sourcing
  • reduce costs and as a result boost productivity and profits
  • innovation in e-business should bring new customers
  • grow the business from a local one to an international one
  • building up networks
  • serving business partners
  • reaching special market section1

SME can use Internet in almost all the fields of operation. They can use it for several purposes, some of them we named below. For innovation the internet can help us to find and to hire qualified staff or to find information on most recent technical developments, patents, public research results, market trends.

How to take advantage? Having a Web site is an excellent way of providing information on SMEs. The content of the Website can be imaginative and rich in content, but time and effort does need to be spent on deciding how to design and produce a web site. Even at its most basic level, a Web site with a little information and links is interactive. It is this immediate feedback of user interaction on the Web site that makes it such a powerful communication method.

As a starting point, you should ask some basic questions and document the answers. Depending on the type of business, a range of other questions may be of equal importance.

Table 1: Questions to be answered while designing your website2

A successful website will meet the needs of the various target audiences; delivering valuable content, matching technological capability, providing good site design and practical functionalit

1 InnoSupport: Supporting Innovations in SME. 9.3 Competencies of Internet presentation and research, 2005
2 Producing Website Content www.freecom.net/filestore/websitecontent.pdf