Apulu, Idisemi (University of Wolverhampton, 2012-02)
In recent years there has been an increase in the adoption of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in organisations, as the use of ICT causes some form of revolution in business practices. All over the world, ICT has greatly transformed the manner in which companies conduct business. However, there is considerable evidence to show that Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) in developing countries, particularly those in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), are yet to reap the full benefits offered by ICT as compared to their counterparts in the developed countries. Although the contribution of SMEs’ is of notable importance to many countries’ economy, yet those in developing countries lag far behind. For SMEs to survive and remain competitive in the current highly competitive business environment there is a need to adopt and use ICT effectively, in order to attain some level of competitive advantage. This research investigates factors affecting the adoption and effective utilisation of ICT, with particular emphasis on SMEs in Nigeria. It is presumed that SMEs’ adoption of ICT in Nigeria will provide opportunities to accelerate the country’s socio-economic growth as it will offer Nigeria the chance to ‘leapfrog’ some stages of development. The methodology adopted in undertaking this study is the qualitative research approach although a survey was used at the initial stage, to provide an exploratory snapshot of the SMEs in context. This research has empirically identified key factors motivating ICT adoption in Nigerian SMEs, and benefits resulting from the use of ICT in their organisational performance. Factors affecting the adoption and effective utilisation of ICT in Nigerian SMEs were also identified. Following this, strategies were proposed which led to the development of a framework that will assist to increase the adoption and effective use of ICT amongst SMEs in Nigeria and also, aid the further deployment of more sophisticated ICT solutions by these SMEs. The framework was validated via a survey and analysed with the aid of SPSS software. The findings obtained from the validation procedure indicated that the framework is valuable and suitable for use in practice since the research shows that the majority of respondents accepted the research findings and recommendations for success. This research offers recommendations that will assist the Nigerian government, stakeholders such as ISPs, as well as owners/managers of SMEs, in resolving the problems confronting SMEs in Nigeria.
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