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level for an SME that considers ICT to be the core of its business strategy is that of a high user group as described above in Section 3.3.2. “Pervasive use of ICT in the economy depends on well-trained human resources for developing relevant applications, supporting and maintaining systems” (Mutula & Brakel, 2007:232).

If they have a well-trained ICT staff, SMEs are likely to adopt and use ICT as a competitive tool successfully. Martin (2005) highlights his findings that successful Internet adoption depends on different roles of employees and uses combat names to describe them, such as warriors, interpreters, clerks and priests. The main aim for using such names was to make them easy to relate to and to give them the kind of responsibility and respect associated with those roles.

The separate roles are described in the following way (Martin, 2005):

  • Warriors (leading the way to adoption). This role is the driver of the adoption process, and the person in this role should be passionate and support the adoption. This person does not necessarily need to be a technical person but needs to have a high purpose for the adoption (business reasons). Normally this person is the owner-manager.

  • Interpreters (translating the technology to the ordinary employee). This role is that of the person who understands the technology and can sell this to the rest of the employees of the small business, enabling them to understand it.

  • Clerk (the administrator of the adoption process and documentation keeper). This role is that of “bringing order to chaos” (Martin 2005:196). What this means is that this person should be an administrator and should organise the information of the adoption process and make sure that the staff know where to get what information in order to make it easy.

MIT 840

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