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Results of the 2013 Survey on IT Use

The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) has conducted the 2013 Survey on IT Use and compiled the results as of the end of FY2012. Key observations of the results are; (i) there was an increase in the ratio of businesses that are scheduled to start establishing IT systems, and (ii) businesses that include a management position for CIO, an executive exclusively responsible for IT, and those that have advanced IT use tend to enjoy greater positive effects of IT investment.

Highlights of the results

1) Trends in IT investment

Aiming to ascertain the trends in business investment in IT, METI conducted a survey of information processing-related expenditures per corporation, i.e., IT equipment and software-related expenditures per corporation, and found that the average expenditures were 595.60 million yen, down by 4.8% from the previous year. On the other hand, the ratio of information-processing-related expenditures to yearly business revenue was 0.90%, remaining flat from the previous year. These figures demonstrate a long-term downward trend.

Meanwhile, concerning the survey on future IT-related investment plans, the ratio of businesses that are scheduled to establish IT systems in FY2013 and subsequent years was 54.1%, up by 2.7 percentage points from the previous year. This fact raises expectations that an increasing number of businesses will establish IT systems.

2) Status of IT-related departments in businesses

Concerning the status of IT-related departments in businesses, the ratio of information processing personnel among all the employees of a business who engage in design and management of information systems was 3.3%, remaining the same as the previous year.

Meanwhile, the ratio of businesses that established an executive position of Chief Information Officer (CIO), who has the ultimate responsibility for all work concerning the introduction and use of IT in businesses, was 29.6%, the lowest ratio since the inauguration of the survey and down by 5.9% from the previous year.

Regarding the current situation of businesses using IT in their management,* it was found that such businesses tend to organize the IT environment so as to facilitate the utilization of tangible assets, while their development of environments so as to facilitate the utilization of intangible assets is less advanced. In particular, as for the top two categories of businesses that have advanced their IT use, the ratio of these businesses which established standardized and stable IT infrastructures (one of the categories focusing on tangible assets), was 52.4%, while that of businesses which established an IT management system, (one of the categories focusing on intangible assets), remained at 23.9%.

*Note: METI ranks IT utilization in the management of businesses based on six criteria, namely, [i] the degree to which IT becomes popular in a business, [ii] establishing standardized and stable IT infrastructure, [iii] creating new business models and expanding business fields by utilizing IT, [iv] establishing an IT management system, [v] creating a framework for assessing IT investment and implementing the framework, and [vi] fostering human resources in the field of utilizing IT. Concerning the categories, METI conducted a survey of businesses and ranked the business with rankings of 1 to 4 for each category (Stage 1 to 4), with 4 being the highest level of usage of IT

3) Effects of IT investment

Concerning the relationship between IT organizational structures and effects of IT investment, businesses that create a Chief Information Officer (CIO) position, an executive exclusively responsible for IT, and those that have developed the use of IT tend to enjoy greater positive effects of IT investment. In particular, 82.4% of the businesses that have a CIO answered that they enjoyed improvements in sales thanks to their investment in IT, while 59.5% of the businesses that do not have a CIO said that they enjoyed such improvement. In addition, 98.5% of the businesses that were categorized into IT Stage 4 replied that their investment in IT made their services more efficient, while 60.0% of those categorized in IT Stage 1 said so.

4) Electronic commerce, information security, and cloud computing

[i] Electronic commerce (EC)

It was also found that the ratios of [a] businesses that use the electronic data interchange (EDI) and other systems (EC use ratio), [b] businesses that implement EC in all the target businesses of the survey (EC implementation ratio), and [c] expenditures that the target businesses spent for EC compared to the total expenditures of all business transactions (EC implementation ratio) were all in a trend of improvement:

[a] EDI use ratio:   69.7%, up by 3.6 percentage points from the previous year
[b] EC use ratio (B to B purchase): 42.2%, up by 2.6 percentage points from the previous year
  (B to B sales) 35.1%, up by 0.4 percentage points from the previous year
[c] EC implementation ratio (B to B purchase): 66.5%, up by 6.8 percentage points from the previous year
  (B to B sales) 62.3%, up by 5.1 percentage points from the previous year

[ii] Information security

The ratio of occurrence of information security breaches marked the second lowest level in a decade, followed by that in the previous fiscal year. In addition, concerning the measures for ensuring information security, both the ratio of the businesses that implemented such measures and the amounts that the businesses spent for such measures continue to remain the same, compared to the trends in recent years.

Ratio of occurrence of information security breaches: 24.4%, up by 1.4 percentage points from the previous year
Ratio of businesses that implemented information security measures: 28.2%, down by 1.7 percentage points from the previous year
Average expenditures that each business spent for the measures: 9.67 million yen, down by 1.2% percentage points from the previous year

[iii] Cloud computing

The ratio of the businesses that use a cloud computing system or smartphones/tablets has shown a steady increase.

Ratio of the businesses that use a cloud computing system: 28.2%, up by 6.4 percentage points from the previous year
Ratio of the businesses that use smartphones and tablets: 39.2%, up by 9.1 percentage points from the previous year

Outline of the Survey on IT Use

This survey was conducted to compile official statistics useful for the formation and implementation of [i] IT policies conducive to the total optimization of businesses through IT use, [ii] information security policies, and [iii] other IT policies focusing on noteworthy technologies.

1) Target businesses of the survey

Target businesses are 9,500 private business operators with stated capital of 30 million yen or more and employing 50 or more employees in 26 types of businesses as classified in the Japan Standard Industrial Classification.

2) Survey date and targeted period

Survey date: As of March 31, 2013
Targeted period: One year from April 1, 2012, to March 31, 2013 (FY2012)

3) Note for copyright

All or part of the content of this news release, Appendix 1 (Outline of the report(PDF:543KB) PDF File (in Japanese)), and Appendix 2 (Full text of the report(PDF:1,214KB) PDF File (in Japanese)) may be cited or copied by indicating the data source in an appropriate manner, as an act for private use or quotation approved under the Copyright Act.

For further details, see the Japanese language press release.

Release Date

May 28, 2014

Division in Charge

Information Economy Division, Commerce and Information Policy Bureau

Related Information

Information Policy

Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry
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