Adoption of information communication technologies (ICTs) in Kenyan small and medium enterprises (SMEs)
Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) play a significant role in both the developing and developed economies m job and wealth creation. However, SMEs face multiple challenges such as lack of infrastructure, market intelligence information, managerial skills, financial resources which are all related to non-adoption of information communication technologies (ICTs). The present study examines the adoption of information communication technologies m Kenyan SMEs. The study investigates factors that influence the process of ICTs adoption, barriers to ICTs adoption, benefits of adopting ICTs, and strategies to mitigate against the ICTs adoption challenges. The study also investigates the role of government in supporting SMEs in the adoption of ICTs. The study employs a cross sectional survey research design, and uses the questionnaire as the mam research instrument. The target population of the study were SMEs owners/managers. The SMEs selected for the study are Furniture-Wood and Metal and Fabrication sub-sectors of the industry. Stratified random sampling was used to identify SMEs for inclusion in the survey. Data collected was analysed with the use of SPSS in which descriptive statistics were generated for interpretation. Findings of the study showed that pressure from competitors influenced ICT adoption in SMEs. The ICTs commonly used by SMEs was the Mobile Phone and that external barriers inhibit the adoptions of ICTs by SMEs in contrast to internal barriers. Findings showed that the major benefit of ICTs adoption was the facilitation of quick flow of information within and outside the SMEs for decision making. The study contributes to the body of knowledge by enabling policy makers to appreciate the importance of ICTs in the development and sustainability of SMEs. A conceptual framework of ICTs adoption by SMEs in developing and developed countries has also been proposed. The study recommends that Information Resources Centres should be located in urban and rural areas in order to disseminate necessary information to SMEs owners/managers on the potential benefits of ICTs adoption in business.