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solutions is First National Bank (FNB), which offers its business account holders a payroll solution for running their monthly payrolls. As mentioned before, the benefits for the client are cheaper solutions and availability of experts, while maintenance and upgrades of the systems are done by the service provider. Similarly, ABSA give their SME clients business support solutions, including accounting software. These services are provided at a nominal cost of R245 per month (at present in 2008). If the SME were to buy the accounting software it might spend about R12 000, plus have to pay annual licence fees.

These examples indicate the availability of cost-effective solutions for SMEs and the drive to make ICT accessible to everyone. These solutions are applicable to all the groupings of barriers.

Education about ICT will solve issues such as lack of knowledge, feeling intimidated by technology, and security, which fall in the organisational and behavioural grouping of barriers. Regarding security issues, there is a possibility of fraud in any system, not only an ICT system, but awareness of how to protect yourself in the ICT environment will reduce the risks. The problem of power cuts can be overcome by investing in alternative energy sources like generators or solar power. Consulting experts is a good place to start if you do not know where to find the correct information.

5.7 Current processing of information

Most of the benefits of ICT come from the data captured from the customer, such as personal details and transactions details. The reason why the new economy is called the “knowledge economy” is due to the heavy reliance on information and data that is turned into knowledge/intelligence. This knowledge is then used by the business to help its decision-making process.

MIT 840

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