Elizabeth Trudell Survey Reveals Strong Ebook Penetration in Enterprise Settings
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By Elizabeth Trudell


A recently completed FreePint survey on the use of ebooks in the enterprise shows that the use of ebooks is very much on the rise in enterprise settings. The enthusiastic response and variety of comments received in the survey are indicators of the level of interest in this topic. With respondents from enterprises in many market sectors, the survey suggests that the interest in ebooks extends across a wide spectrum of industries and business services.


A FreePint survey on ebooks in the enterprise was carried out from late January to the end of February 2015. The brief survey was designed to capture an understanding of the types of business where ebooks are available, trends in deployment, key vendors and factors which drive the selection of ebook suppliers. 

Cross Section of Market

In addition to the FreePint community, the survey was made available to a number of divisions of the SLA (Special Libraries Association) and other user groups in order to provide as broad a cross-section as possible. Respondents were asked to indicate their type of organisation. The breadth of organisation type is clear from Figure 1.

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Figure 1: Respondents by market sector


Level of Penetration

Respondents were asked whether ebooks are currently made available within their organisation. The results shows that, among organisations choosing to participate, overall penetration of ebooks in enterprise settings is approaching 80%.  

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Figure 2: ebooks are used in nearly 80% of enterprises

However, there are clear differences in penetration and use by market segment. With roughly the same number of respondents in each group, an average of 91% of respondents in manufacturing and biotech/pharmaceutical industries have deployed ebooks. However, that percentage drops to 73% for legal services and to 60% for professional services.

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Figure 3: Scientific and technical industries outpace business services in ebook deployment  

The survey covered deployment characteristics and decision factors, an overview of key vendors, and additional factors offering insight by market segment. Our full analysis of the data will appear in future FreePint Subscription Articles, along with separate analysis on pricing and licensing models, implementation case studies and product reviews.  

Watch for these items, and contact us if you have questions or comments about ebooks in the enterprise.

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