Information Technology and SMEs in Pakistan Essays

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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...

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...(1998), Small Businesses and Information Technology: Risk, Planning and Change, Henry Stewart Publications, ISSN 1462-6004, 228-245.
Porter, M. (1980), Competitive Strategy: Techniques for Analyzing Industries and Competitors, Free Press, New York, NY.

Porter, M. and Miller, V. (1985), “How information gives you competitive advantage”, Harvard Business Review, Vol. 63 No. 4, pp. 149-60.
Rumelt, R., Schendel, D. and Teece, D. (1991), “Strategic management and economics”, Strategic Management Journal, Vol. 12, Winter, pp. 5-29.
Small Business Research Trust (SBRT) (1991) Quarterly survey of small businesses in Britain, No 2, National Westminster and Small Business Research Trust, Open University School of Management, Milton Keynes.
van der Brown, A. and Wiele, T. (1998), “Venturing down the TQM path for SMEs”, Total Quality Management, Vol. 16 No. 2, pp. 50-69.

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