Barriers to SME Computerization in Developing Countries: Evidence from SMEs in North Kivu, Democratic Republic of Congo

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DOI: 10.21522/TIJMG.2015.08.02.Art013

Authors : Rodrigue Kalumendo


SMEs are widely recognized as the development enablers in developing countries. They contribute to job creation and, in so doing, to poverty reduction. To remain competitive, SMEs use several tools, including computerized information systems. However, given their characteristics, several constraints hinder their computerization; these constraints are even more accentuated in developing countries. This study attempted to identify the barriers to computerization as outlined in the literature and to ascertain them in the DRC context. In order to achieve this, we examined the relevant literature and carried out a survey of 53 respondents, principally local ICT stakeholders. Using descriptive statistics, we established that Congolese SMEs face the same computerization challenges identified in the literature. These constraints include the local SME characteristics - poor financial resources, low internal and external expertise, and low management involvement -, high infrastructure costs - expensive software and hardware - and the availability of the technological infrastructure - poor internet access -. The Congolese digital ecosystem stakeholders can, each at their own level, use these results to assist the digitalization of Congolese SMEs and thus make them more agile in the achievement of their goals.

Keywords: ICT, Barriers, Computerization, DRC, SME.


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