Recognising the Challenge: How to Realise the Potential Benefits of ICT Use in SMEs?
There is evidence to suggest that small businesses often start with innovative business ideas but fail within the first 3 years because the proprietors lack the expertise to make them thrive. In this context, it has been suggested that SMEs would benefit from support to select suitable ICTs that can help them to make the most of their business potential. Such suggestions tend to overlook a need to design a system for use of these ICTs within the context of a particular business. Technology alone solves no problems. Managers need to develop relevant expertise to exploit all the assembled resources available to them, and design of an Information System that will be experienced as useful is a prerequisite for successful development of business opportunities. While the technical aspects of e.g. data processing and storage can be consigned to a contractor, responsibility for a customer’s experience in interacting with the business cannot. It is necessary to design business processes and technologies in synergy, paying as much attention to design of effective use of ICTs as to the technologies themselves. The authors believe it is vital for the proprietors of small to medium-sized enterprises to consider what may be the unintended consequences of investment in ICTs and to devote due time and effort to development of effective systems for use.
KeywordsSmall Business Tacit Knowledge Technology Acceptance Model Online Retailer Customer Interaction
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