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respondents have expert technicians to maintain their technologies. Issues such as building stable and scalable ICT infrastructure to support business processes and future growth are not considered. Decisions are made randomly - there are no frameworks or decision structures for ICT.

4.5.5 Barriers

The respondents listed different barriers that prevent them from adopting or implementing ICT, ranging from socio-economic issues to technology-related issues: lack of money, power cuts, lack of knowledge, possibility of fraud, technology intimidation, (perceived) high cost of ICT. The listed barriers are very much in line with the literature, with the addition of power cuts as a new barrier that is probably unique to South Africa (frequent power failures being a result of recent intermittent load shedding by the national electricity supplier). Most of the barriers could possibly be overcome by learning more about ICT and by SMEs employing knowledgeable ICT staff.

4.5.6 Current processing of information

The ten interviewed SMEs use very basic ICT. They do not even keep an electronic database of their clients. Two of the ten capture their transaction details on the computer by using a point-of-sales (POS) terminal, while the other eight use manual methods for capturing their transactions. For example, the restaurants use POS to make the process more efficient and to deal with current levels of business. This POS is almost standard in the restaurant industry. The owners admit that the information collected by the POS is used mainly for accounting purpose and not for data mining. The POS does have standard features which give some analysis, but these are not exploited to their full capacity.

MIT 840

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