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A Study of IT Use in Small and Medium Businesses in Melbourne, Australia

A Study of IT Use in Small and Medium Businesses in Melbourne, Australia
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Author(s): Stephen Burgess (Victoria University, Australia)
Copyright: 2005
Pages: 4
Source title: Managing Modern Organizations Through Information Technology
Source Editor(s): Mehdi Khosrow-Pour (Information Resources Management Association, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-822-2.ch044

Abstract

This paper reports on the results of a series of interviews with thirteen small and medium-sized businesses in Melbourne, Australia – ten small businesses and three medium sized businesses. The interviews investigated the manner that the small and medium businesses use IT and the value that it adds to their businesses. The paper commences with some background on the particular peculiarities in relation to the manner in which small business use IT and then reports on the results of the small and medium sized business interviews in relation to each of these peculiarities. The study confirmed many of the features of small business identified in the literature. The businesses in the study did tend to take a short-term focus towards to their use of IT, and identified operational systems as their major use of IT. They did, however, identify a number of innovative ways in which they use IT. The medium businesses showed aspects of both ‘small’ and ‘larger’ cultures in their IT use. They virtually had no strategic IT plan (like small businesses), but they did understand terms such as ‘service agreements’ and ‘benchmarking’. Their uses of IT did tend to be more sophisticated than their smaller counterparts. The study had limitations (mainly the number of businesses), but there is enough evidence to justify further studies into ‘medium’ sized businesses in relation to their usage of IT.

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