support the work of Mehrtens, Cragg and Mills (2001) who found that organizations that
have high levels of information technology are more likely to adopt the Internet.
Hypotheses not Supported
Human capital was found not influencing e-readiness of SMEs, which is consistent with
previous studies such as DeLone (1988) who found that the availability of internal technical
support as mainly for training purposes and did not result in greater IS success in SMI. One
of the possible reasons could be the effectiveness of external support. The variety of
engagements and support work done by external vendors and consultants may have given
them the exposure and experience which have not been available to many internal support
group to offer (Thong and Yap 1994). Another possible explanation may have been the lack
of financial resources. Thus, there has been no priority for SMEs to setup internal IT support
group, instead they largely rely on external expertise and resources when computerizing.
The result of study shows that confidence of SMEs in the information security does not have
significant effect on the e-readiness of SMEs in Northern Malaysia. Once the information
security feature is installed, the confidence level of the information security technology
would not play an important role on e-readiness. The study by APEC (1999) showed that the
level of relative concern with security appeared to decrease as firms become more advanced
and gain a better understanding of security issues and the appropriate technologies to address
them such as encryption.
SMEs aim to adopt e-commerce, e-business and Internet technology so that it will bring
significant change to their performance. Davenport et al. (2001) stated that over 62 percent of
managers agreed that organizational and cultural factors form the greatest barrier in achieving