Abstract Recent spectacular technological advances and break throughs have made the effective use of modern information technology a critical, competitive business tool. This study explores the use of IT by SMEs and their degree of satisfaction in using software and hardware.Use of Word processing and spreadsheet is comparatively high. Use of communication software is very low. There is a dissatisfaction of respondents with software, more than hardware. One main reason is lack of proper training as employees don’t know how to use the software. Informal training methods like on-the-job training etc., are very effective to train the employees.
Keywords Information technology (IT), Small to Medium-sized enterprises, Hardware, Software, Training
The rapid growth of technological innovations and the fusion of information technology have drastically changed the way companies compete. Many business enterprises are implementing the information technology for the purpose of gaining competitive advantage in their industry. In its various manifestations, IT processes data, gathers information, stores collected materials, accumulates knowledge and expedites communication (Chan, 2000). Gaining competitive advantage through the use of information technology requires business owners to control this vital corporate resource and manage its use (Beheshti, 2004).
There are many factors which influence a firm’s competitiveness (Porter, 1980; Rumelt et al., 1991). However, most of researchers since 1980 have examined the concept of IT as a powerful competitive factor for organization (Porter and Miller, 1985; Clemons and Row, 1991; Barney, 1999). IT, in its nascent business world form, was generally considered a support tool. But as time passed and technological sophistication grew, IT’s usage and impact increased dramatically (Chan, 2000). This pattern of progress may be due to advancement of technology. But a technological diffusion or infusion may be attributable to the fact that IT’s introduction into an organization creates further technological needs and encourages product and policy innovation to meet such needs.
One research (Hitt and Brynjolfsson, 1996) has examined the value of IT as a viable competitive actor via increased productivity, improved profitability, and value for customers. Studies on the role of IT in competitiveness have been primarily focused on large organizations. However, in today’s global market, and with the use of Internet and electronic business, small and medium size enterprises (SMEs) can employ IT to increase their competitive position along with their large counterparts (Beheshti, 2004). Barau et al. (2001) showed that small business were utilising the internet more than their counterparts. In order to take full advantage of IT and to compete in the global business environment, top executives must recognize the strategic value of IT and exploit it.
II. RESEARCH METHODOLOGY AND OBJECTIVE
It is very...