that decisions are relevant, suited to the SME and contribute to its success.
The other solution is to use consulting agents to obtain information that can help in decision-making. A good example is the “CIO-on-call services” as discussed by Perry’s (2007) article that can be used to get expert advice. The challenge is to choose the right consultant with the appropriate technical and business experience, preferably an independent one with no association with any particular products (otherwise he or she might be concerned with making sales and not have your business interests at heart). Also make sure that you have a knowledge transfer plan with the consulting company and that training of the SME staff is part of the output. Learning is a big part in knowledge management and decision making, with great benefits for the future. This aspect is crucial, especially for SMEs with their limited budgets.
The answers in the interviews regarding the barriers to successfully implementing ICT are in line with what most authors in the literature review have identified as obstacles. The barriers that were highlighted as major problems in South Africa are lack of knowledge about both the strategic use of ICT and ICT as a concept. All the respondents agreed that understanding ICT was a challenge for them, and emphasised the lack of IT skills as a problem. They complained that IT skills were too expensive because ICT specialists have big price tags. Generally SMEs can not afford expensive skills, whether ICT or otherwise, because of their small turnover and limited budgets. The problem of the ever-changing ICT environment is one that the respondents understand and are aware of, but keeping up with the changes is a bit difficult for them. Another problem that they highlighted was a lack of trust in ICT, together with doubts
Page 53 of 73