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Journal Article

National Survey of SMEs' Use of IT in Four Sectors  pp39-50

R. Dyerson, G. Harindranath, D. Barnes

© Jan 2009 Volume 12 Issue 1, ECIME 2008, Editor: Dan Remenyi, pp1 - 118

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Abstract

This paper examines the adoption and use of information and communication technology (ICT) in small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) across four sectors in the UK. In the paper we report on a survey that explores the factors facilitating or hampering the successful adoption and use of ICT by SMEs. We find that SMEs are generally satisfied with their investments in ICT but that they are concerned about the cost of such investments and are uncertain about the business benefits. Much of the investment in ICT is directed at meeting bottom line issues of cost and productivity but little use is made of potential strategic applications. A particular case in point is the diffusion of ecommerce in which firms report increased consumer interest but there is little evidence in the survey to suggest that interest is being actively managed by SMEs. One concern that emerges from the survey is the SMEs' perceived dependency upon consultants. SMEs appear to be encountering knowledgecompetency gaps related to ICT. They may be too small to be able to employ a dedicated ICT expert and lack the experience to have confidence in its reliability of consultancy advice. They often have limited experience in selecting, implementing and evaluating suggested ICT solutions. To help correct this gap in the provision of services, the government has tried to provide support with mixed success. Certainly, the UK government has had a strong interest in helping and supporting the SME sector. However, State sponsored solutions to meet this competency gap appear to be failing with little awareness or take up of such solutions by the SMEs that we surveyed. Something that remains unclear is whether this failure by SMEs to avail themselves of advice and guidance made available by the State reflects the quality of solutions offered or a more basic lack of awareness by SMEs.

 

Keywords: SMEs, ICT, technology adoption, ecommerce

 

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Journal Issue

Volume 14 Issue 1, ECIME 2010 Special Issue / Jan 2011  pp1‑166

Editor: Miguel de Castro Neto

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Editorial

miguel_neto Dr Miguel de Castro Neto is presently Associate Dean at the Instituto Superior de Estatística e Gestão de Informação of the Universidade Nova de Lisboa (ISEGI‑UNL), where he is Invited Assistant Professor. He is editor of the Journal of Information Technology in Agriculture (JITAg), member of the Editorial Advisory Board of Online Information Review journal, and Scientific Advisor of the Revista Brasileira de Agroinformática.  Miguel de Castro Neto holds a PhD in Agronomic Engineering (Universidade Técnica de Lisboa) in the field of Internet‑based agricultural information systems, a Masters degree in Agricultural Economics (Universidade de Évora), a Masters degree extension in Statistics and Information Management (Universidade Nova de Lisboa) and a degree in Agricultural Engineering (Universidade de Évora).His research interests include Business Intelligence, Knowledge management and Social Computing.

Editorial

This special edition of the EJISE includes thirteen selected papers presented at the 4th European Conference on Information Management and Evaluation ‑ ECIME 2010 which were considered the most important contributions to the advances in the information systems evaluation field of study.

The conference was held at Instituto Superior de Estatística e Gestão from the Universidade Nova de Lisboa (ISEGI‑UNL), Lisbon, Portugal, and the broad topics proposed to be addressed by ECIME 2010 included: evaluation topics; management topics; e‑Government topics; new technologies, innovation and infrastructures; development topics; ethics and philosophy topics; and general topics.

These topics where covered by the presentation in the conference of 47 Papers, 4  PhD Research Papers, and 4 Work in Progress with participants coming from 25 different countries splitted in the following streams: Managing Information; Evaluation of Records and Documents; Business Intelligence; ICT issues as they specifically affect SMEs; Logistics, Supply Chain and Process Improvement; Performance assessment and measurement; Web Tools; Health Information Systems; Evaluation Issues; Health Information Systems Issues; Quality and Service Level; and IS professionals.

The 13 ECIME 2010 selected papers for publishing in this EJISE special issue cover a very wide range of interesting and up to date research areas giving us important insights and new perspectives in future developments in the field and I hope it can became an important contribution to the dynamics in the information systems evaluation research area.

 

Keywords: action research, adopter categories, adoption, adoption determinants, alliances, architectural principles, BAN, business architecture, business value, CDSS, COBIT, community, computing, consumer goods, decision-making, diffusion of innovations (DOI) theory, digital divide, disadvantaged networks, early warning scorecard, eCommerce, enterprise architecture, evidence-based protocols, factors, GDS (Global Data Synchronization), geobrowser, georeference, GIS (Geographical Information System), GLN (Global Location Numbering), global standards, GoogleEarth, GTIN (Global Trade Items Numbering), GUSI (Global Upstream Supply Initiative), health informatics and body area networks, health information management, hospital information systems, information alignment, information management, information quality, information quality, information systems, information systems architecture, information technology, institutional theory, integrated suppliers, interorganizational systems (IOSs), interpretiv

 

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