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should be done to confirm this. This affects ICT-related decisions, because they are not based on sound knowledge. For example, in their endeavour to sell their products, sales representatives give SME owners advice based on their products and paint a picture that looks good, without necessarily putting everything into context. If the SME owner follows the advice of the most persuasive representative, he or she may not end up with the most suitable product.

The SMEs should thus employ an ICT specialist to look after the ICT needs of the business, or get a consultant to advise the SME owner on ICT-related matters at a strategic level. This should improve awareness and knowledge of ICT, thus improving decision making related to ICT in the SME.

5.2 Workforce knowledge

The findings reflect that the education levels of the staff of the interviewed businesses range from matric to degrees, but none of them have any IT/ICT related skills. Knowledgeable and skilled ICT employees are very important in the knowledge economy for successful adoption and implementation of ICT, as highlighted in the literature review by Matula and Brakel (2007:232), who state that “well-trained human resources for developing relevant ICT applications, supporting and maintaining systems” are essential resources.

As mentioned before, there is a need to have someone championing ICT in the business and driving the adoption/implementation process. Generally this person needs to be someone with the right authority and influence; in the case of SMEs the owner can play this role. The role of the chief information office (CIO) is a good example from big organisations of someone who drives ICT and its potential benefits. This role makes sure that any technology that is adopted and used by the business is in line with the business goal and strategies.

MIT 840

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