The East of England Development Agency is to invest £2.8 million in the takeITon programme, which will provide a package of practical and financial support over three years.
A strong IT infrastructure for the region is critical to improving the productivity and efficiency both of individual businesses and the prosperity of the region as a whole, said an EEDA spokesman.
The takeITon awareness raising campaign running alongside the support programme aims to encourage businesses to think again about the way they use IT and to enable them to become more competitive, visible and profitable. The campaign has recruited dedicated IT advisers to increase the support available through Business link.
The package of support available includes:
Investment in five additional dedicated IT advisers to support businesses in the region through Business Link.
Specialist diagnostic IT healthcheck available to help businesses to identify their IT needs.
Regular advice clinics and seminars run by Business Link.
A dedicated takeITon website www.takeiton.org.uk providing practical advice, hints and tips based on commissioned research.
A financial support package to be formally launched in January 2008.
EEDA chair Richard Ellis (pictured) said: "It is no secret that a strong IT infrastructure has the ability to drive business success but when we compared this aspect of our performance as a region to others, we realised there was a need to boost the region’s use of IT in business. If we can encourage businesses across the region to adopt improved IT practices, they will reap the rewards in productivity and efficiency which, in turn, will benefit the economic prosperity of the region as a whole."
Pat Smith, chief executive of Business Link in the East of England, added: "At the core of this initiative is the investment in additional frontline expert IT advisers who will provide specialist support to businesses in the region. Every company that meets with an adviser will come away with an independent audit that will help them plan and develop their IT systems going forward."