Academic journal article Academy of Strategic Management Journal

Relevance of Information Technology in the Effective Management of Selected Smes in Lagos State Nigeria

Academic journal article Academy of Strategic Management Journal

Relevance of Information Technology in the Effective Management of Selected Smes in Lagos State Nigeria

Article excerpt

INTRODUCTION

For many years, small and medium scale enterprises in Nigeria have been faced with management challenges and one of the major problems has been grossly attributed to the absence of or inadequate use of Information Technology for effective management. The undoubted factor which indicates the improvement of the competitiveness of most enterprises is the usage of IT, (Bazhenova, Taratukhin & Becker, 2012). In Lagos State and Nigeria at large, the impact of IT on SMEs operation performance has not been greatly explored (Akande & Yinus, 2013) as files and folders are still in use for data storage and record keeping. In the same vein, Agwu & Murray (2015) posit that some business and government transactions are still conducted manually and lots of files and documents are shelved in large cabinets and handed from table to table. In this information age manual compilation of records with files and folders should not be in vogue, such a database system is prone to alterations and manipulations. Retrieval of such records becomes a needle in a haystack when the files and folders become voluminous over a long period of time. A comprehensive use of information technology in small and medium scale enterprises in Nigeria will be a change in the positive direction for the industry as this will reform and improve the efficiency of management of SMEs in Lagos state as well as Nigeria at large. The objectives of this study among others are 1) determine if use of information technology leads to increase in production output, 2) ascertain whether the application of Information technology increases the efficiency of management of SMEs, 3) determine if Information Technology enhances competitiveness of SMEs and 4) clarify the challenges involved in the implementation of Information Technology and how it affects management. As this study is fixated on the relevance of information technology in the effective management of selected SMEs with specific reference to Lagos State, the scope of the study is therefore limited to the activities of selected SMEs within Lagos as a metropolitan city. While there are so many literatures on information technology and SMEs, none to the knowledge of the authors have discussed the relevance of IT on the effective management of SMEs, hence this study closes this gap.

LITERATURE REVIEW

SMEs have been identified by various governments and organizations as a key contributor to the sustainable development of any economy. SMEs drove job growth by the creation of more jobs than large firms and contributed greatly to overall job additions. Agwu & Murray (2015) in their submission identified E-commerce as a vital aspect of information technology which is still a new development in Nigerian SMEs. The study described Ecommerce as a cost effective tool that streamlines the business process and makes use of improved relationship networking to achieve competitive advantage. Adopters of E-commerce are said to be at an advantage as it leads to improvement in the internal and external communication as well as a better use of organizational resources. Agwu & Murray also revealed that some of the reasons why E-commerce is adopted include access to virtual information, online delivery and price comparison amongst others. Agwu & Murray (2015) in conclusion recognized that some SME's in Nigeria have not yet harnessed the full potential benefits electronic commerce offers to the business world and factors such as illiteracy, cost and maintenance, inadequate skills have been identified to be barriers to ecommerce adoption by SMEs in Nigeria. According to Kumar (2014) who researched on the roles, advantages and disadvantages of Information Technology (IT) in India identified IT has as a crucial tool that supports the economy of the nation. One of the advantages of IT discussed in the work is globalization, as the business world is now closer and barriers relating to geographical distance have now been considerably reduced. …

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