Title: SMEs and web-based business processes: barriers and solutions

Authors: Doug Cruickshank, Damien McLeod

Addresses: Aberdeen Business School, The Robert Gordon University, Garthdee Road, Aberdeen AB10 7QE, UK. ' Aberdeen Business School, The Robert Gordon University, Garthdee Road, Aberdeen AB10 7QE, UK

Abstract: At present most SMEs make only relatively basic use of the internet. It is recognised that SMEs can gain greater business benefit by undertaking web-based business processes, however there is little use of such applications amongst SMEs. This preliminary investigation explores the factors which help to explain the reticence of SMEs to consider web-based processes delivered by the application service provider model. The paper identifies the key barriers, the greatest of which is seen as ||fear||. A mechanism is proposed for SMEs to readily assess and overcome the main ||fear factor|| barrier and thereby commence a more reasoned evaluation of the real business case. The conclusions also provide some guidance to development agencies and the application providers.

Keywords: SMEs; small to medium sized business; business process outsourcing; application service provider; web based applications; e-business; online business process; electronic business; internet; barriers; fear factor.

DOI: 10.1504/IJEIM.2004.005847

International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Innovation Management, 2004 Vol.4 No.6, pp.546 - 560

Available online: 16 Dec 2004 *

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