Study points to older entrepreneurs falling behind in attitudes towards internet technology

A study by The Business Group has revealed that US entrepreneurs under the age of 40 are more likely to understand the advantages of internet-based technologies than their counterparts in the 40-plus age group.

According to the study, 79% of entrepreneurs under 40 said they believed themselves to be ‘expert internet users’, compared with only 41% of those in the 40-plus age range.

74% of entrepreneurs under 40 also said they believed that technology had ‘greatly increased’ business productivity, whilst 83% said they held the internet to be ‘one of the most valuable business tools’.

In addition, 43% of respondents under the age of 40 said they saw social networking sites as ‘valuable resources for business growth’, compared with only 28% of the over-40s.

Internet-based technologies currently embrace a number of important applications, including research and training; data communications; and business VoIP (voice over internet protocol).

It is the latter application – business VoIP – which is currently in vogue among the most forward-thinking enterprises; not least because it usually leads to much cheaper monthly phone costs than are achievable with traditional telephone company landlines.

VoIP however also provides companies with greater control over the management of their business phone systems; enabling them, for example, to add user extensions more easily, and to allow staff to use their extension outside the office wherever there is a suitable internet connection – even if they are at home.

The survey, which canvassed the views of 2,223 executives in small and medium sized enterprises, between November 2010 and January 2011 may possibly have highlighted a cultural distinction between the under-40s for whom the use of VoIP, social networking, and Wi-Fi, is much more a familiar and routine set of activities than it is for those over 40.