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the adoption process. According to Southern and Tilley (2000:145-146), there are three types of user groups, which are:

  • Low users. These are the small businesses that have little or no ICT in their business. They do not understand the difference between IT and ICT and are not willing to invest lot of money in ICT.

  • Medium users. This group includes the small businesses that have started using some ICT in their organisation. They have stand-alone PCs and have some form of a network established.

  • High users. This group exhibits signs of more sophisticated understanding of ICT and how the technology can be applied.

Southern and Tilley (2000) examine the above user groups in relation to the hard or soft ICT characteristics and show how each user group reacts. The hard issues are visible aspects of ICT that can be observed and the soft issues are qualitative aspects of running a small business. Figure 1 shows the hard and soft characteristics of the three user groups:

MIT 840

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