Model for Integrating Ict Into Smes for Business Sustainability in Developing Countries Case Study: Northern Uganda - Lira District
Author: ADIEKU Raphael
Supervisor: Albert Miwanda
The demand of efficient Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in facilitating business operations between businesses and their client, employees and business partners is becoming more important for a business to stay competitive in an increasing evolving technology. Governments around the world put more emphasis on use of ICT to different sectors of various calibers even their Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). However, the situation is different within SMEs in developing countries like Uganda. Certainly, SMEs appeared to be very slow in adoption of ICTs and its integrations to business processes to remain sustainable in the volatile economies today despite advantages, opportunities and effectiveness that ICT offers.
The study aimed at building a model that will help SMEs integrate ICTs to their businesses to achieve sustainable development business goals. Specifically, the study looked into the level of ICT utilization in various SMEs in Uganda, the benefit of using ICT in marketing activities within SMEs and factors which in one way or another that are affecting the use of ICT within SMEs in developing countries like Uganda.
The case study approach was employed in this study, which specifically focused on ICT and SMEs, and concentrated on studying its connection on the business sustainability. Data were collected from thirty five respondents within twenty SMEs through a filled-in questionnaire and through direct interviews within selected SMEs, also, seven officials from private and public institutions concerned with ICT and SME were interviewed to make total number of respondents to be Fifty.
Research indicates that SMEs in Developing Countries are somehow aware of the benefits of ICT adoption with regard to business activities as it can offer a promising and exiting way for SMEs to meet various challenges in these present days, and can add competitive advantage in market expansion. Also the findings reveal that 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 within SMEs. This research also identified the supports required by manufacturing SMEs in developing countries using Zanzibar as a case study.
Therefore, ICT culture should be built within SMEs business, by continually exploring all technological options with their possible benefits to the SMEs. Also, policy makers and business societies should use this research as a foundation for understanding the current state of affairs of the usage and impact of ICT on SMEs and its benefits.