The SME and Information Technology

A Practical Study of SMEs at the IT Frontier

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This study identifies critical factors preventing small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in developing countries from making optimal use of Information Technology (IT). It provides recommendations for SME support institutions as a basis for designing technical assistance services for the business sector. The publication also presents case studies illustrating active participation of trade support institutions in Africa, Asia and Latin America.

English Spanish, French


Training and human resources

As the constraints analysis revealed, many SMEs are held back by the lack of personnel qualified to utilize IT-based products. The issue of human resources has two major facets: an extremely tight labour market for IT professionals and an internal resistance to change within a company. These two facets combine to make accessible training programmes vital for the continued progress of SMEs in the IT sector. The tight labour market implies a high premium for those with the requisite expertise, thus generating a large demand for the training facilities under scrutiny. Company resistance to change, on the other hand, can be dealt with only by a sustained company effort to develop human resources and acquaint personnel with IT products. This, in turn, requires access to affordable training opportunities. It is these two characteristics, accessibility and affordability, that will determine the efficacy of such training regimens.

English French, Spanish

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