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Journal Article

Use and Impact of ICT on SMEs in Oman  pp171-184

Rafi Ashrafi, Muhammed Murtaza

© Nov 2008 Volume 11 Issue 3, Editor: Dan Remenyi, pp109 - 212

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Abstract

This paper presents the results of an exploratory study carried out to learn about the use and impact of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) on Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) in Oman. The study investigates ICT infrastructure, software used, driver for ICT investment, perceptions about business benefits of ICT and outsourcing trends of SMEs. The study provides an insight on the barriers for the adoption of ICT. Data on these aspects of ICT was collected from 51 SMEs through a survey instrument. The results of the study show that only a small number of SMEs in Oman are aware of the benefits of ICT adoption. The main driving forces for ICT investment are to provide better and faster customer service and to stay ahead of the competition. A majority of surveyed SMEs have reported a positive performance and other benefits by utilizing ICT in their businesses. Majority of SMEs outsource most of their ICT activities. Lack of internal capabilities, high cost of ICT and lack of information about suitable ICT solutions and implementation were some of the major barriers in adopting ICT. These findings are consistent with other studies e.g. (Harindranath et al 2008). There is a need for more focus and concerted efforts on increasing awareness among SMEs on the benefits of ICT adoption. The results of the study recognize the need for more training facilities in ICT for SMEs, measures to provide ICT products and services at an affordable cost, and availability of free professional advice and consulting at reasonable cost to SMEs. Our findings therefore have important implication for policy aimed at ICT adoption and use by SMEs. The findings of this research will provide a foundation for future research and will help policy makers in understanding the current state of affairs of the usage and impact of ICT on SMEs in Oman.

 

Keywords: Information and communication technologies, ICT, Small and Medium Sized Enterprises, SMEs, developing countries, Gulf Cooperative Council, GCC, Middle East, Oman

 

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Journal Issue

Volume 11 Issue 3 / Nov 2008  pp109‑212

Editor: Dan Remenyi

View Contents Download PDF (free)

Keywords: B2C e-commerce, boundary objects, business-to-business integration, Caribbean, data functionality , data ownership, DeLone and McLean, developing countries, e-commerce success, economic profit, electronic surveys, evaluation methodology, Gulf Cooperative Council (GCC), information and communication technologies (ICT), inter-organizational data integration problems, IS evaluation, IS management, IS outsourcing , IS Project Management, IS success, Middle East, multi-method, Oman, product management, project management, Project Objectives Measurement Model (POMM), service levels, SERVQUAL, Small and Medium Sized Enterprises, SME, success criteria, systems science, systems thinking, traceability, WWW, service-quality

 

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