Information System Check-Up as a Leverage for SME Development

Information System Check-Up as a Leverage for SME Development

Aurelio Ravarini (Cattaneo University, Italy), Marco Tagliavini (Cattaneo University, Italy), Giacomo Buonanno (Cattaneo University, Italy) and Donatella Sciuto (Politecnico di Milano, Italy)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-930708-35-8.ch004


The widespread adoption of information and communication technology (ICT) has been involving both large companies and smaller ones. However, while large enterprises usually own the managerial competence and financial resources to face innovation, a lot of research has been highlighting the typical weakness related to small and medium enterprises1 (SMEs) (Burns, 1996; Raymond, 1985, 1992). In fact, their typical focus on production activities, together with their limited investment budget, very often lead SME entrepreneurs to exclude information systems (IS) issues whenever planning organizational development. As a result, SMEs usually devote minimal resources to the IS department and, whenever they do, IS staff competence are strictly narrowed to technical issues (Soh, 1994; Palvia, 1994; Zinatelli, 1996). The consequent lack of internal expertise limits ICT specification and selection policies (Monsted, 1993; Schleich, 1990), and inevitably leads SMEs to develop an IS which is inadequate to the organizational needs (Cragg, 1995; Lai, 1995; Lang, 1997).

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