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What is External Support

Encyclopedia of Multimedia Technology and Networking, Second Edition
This refers to assistance from persons outside the firm. Some firms pay for such support by employing a consultant. Other common forms of external support include IS vendors, and advice from peers, that is, managers in other firms.
Published in Chapter:
IT Management in Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises
Theekshana Suraweera (University of Canterbury, New Zealand)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-014-1.ch110
Computer-based information systems have grown in importance to SMEs, and are now being used increasingly to help them compete. For example, many SMEs have turned to the Internet to support their endeavours. Although the technology that is being used is relatively well understood, its effective management is not so well understood. A good understanding of IT management is important, as the management of IT is an attribute that has the potential to deliver a sustainable competitive advantage to a firm (Mata, Fuerst, & Barney, 1995). This article shows that there is no one accepted view of the term “IT management” for either large or small firms. However, the term “management” is often considered to include the four functions of planning, organising, leading, and controlling. This framework has been applied to SMEs and specifically to their IT management. The article also shows that recent studies have shown significant links between IT management and both IT adoption and IT success. Resource-based theory is helping researchers gain a greater understanding of IT competences. These advances look likely to improve our understanding of the relationship between IT use and SME performance.
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