ICT USE IN SMES - A Comparison between the North West of England and the Province of Genoa

R. Dyerson, G. Harindranath, D. Barnes, R. Spinelli


This paper explores patterns of adoption and use of information and communications technology (ICT) by small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in both the North West region of England and the Genoa region of Italy. Here we present the results of this two region survey drawn from two economically significant sectors: high technology manufacturing and food processing. Our main objectives were to explore and compare ICT adoption and use patterns by SMEs in the two regions to identify factors enabling or inhibiting the successful adoption and use of ICT, and to explore the impact of ecommerce on the SMEs. While our main result indicates a generally favourable attitude to ICT amongst the SMEs surveyed, it also suggests a number of differences between the two regions. English SMEs report greater uses of sophisticated ICT applications but Italian SMEs make more use of basic ICT functionality. English SMEs also report more focus on operational matters and often ignore strategic considerations, unlike their Italian counterparts. Having said that, the English SMEs pay less attention to applying ecommerce but appear to make more effective use of the Internet than the Italian SMEs.


  1. Balocco, R., Mainetti, S. and Rangone, A., 2006. Innovare e competere con le ICT. Il ruolo delle tecnologie dell'informazione e della comunicazione nella crescita delle PMI, Il Sole 24 Ore, Milano.
  2. Benevolo, C. Caselli, L. (Eds.), 2008. La realtà multiforme delle piccole e medie imprese. il caso della provincia di Genova, Franco Angeli, Milano.
  3. Buonanno, G., Faverio, P., Pigni, F., Ravarini, A., Sciuto, D., Tagliavini, M., 2005. Factors Affecting ERP system adoption. A comparative analysis between SMEs and large companies. Journal of Enterprise Information Management, 18 (4), 384-426.
  4. Caselli, L., 2003. Liguria tra sviluppo e emarginazione. In Ricercare Insieme. Studi in onore di Sergio Vaccà (p. 129), Franco Angeli, Milano.
  5. Cioppi, M., Savelli, E., 2006. ICT e PMI. L'impatto delle nuove tecnologie sulla gestione aziendale delle piccole imprese, ASPI/INS-Edit, Urbino & Genova.
  6. Cioppi, M., Savelli, E., Di Marco, I., 2003. Gli effetti delle ICT sulla gestione delle piccole e medie imprese. Piccola Impresa/Small Business, (3), 11-50.
  7. Cragg, P., King, M., Hussin, H., 2002. IT alignment and firm performance in small manufacturing firms. Journal of Strategic Information Systems, 11 (2), 109- 132.
  8. Drew, S., 2003. Strategic use of e-commerce by SMEs in the East of England. European Management Journal, 21 (1), 79-88.
  9. Dyerson, R., Harindranath, G. and Barnes, D., 2008, National survey of SMEs' use of IT in four sectors, Proceedings of the European Conference on Information Management and Evaluation, Royal Holloway-University of London, Egham, United Kingdom.
  10. EC (European Commission), 2008. The European eBusiness Report 2006/07, Brussels.
  11. Fontana, R., Corrocher, N., 2008. Objectives, obstacles and drivers of ICT adoption: What do IT managers perceive? Information Economics and Policy, 20, 229- 242.
  12. Gramignoli, S., Ravarini, A., Tagliavini, M., 1999. A Profile for the IT Manager within SMEs. In Proceedings of the 1999 ACM SIGCPR Conference on Computer Personnel Research (p. 200), ACM, New York.
  13. Harindranath, G. Dyerson, R., Barnes, D., 2008, ICT in small firms: Factors affecting the adoption and use of ICT in Southeast England SMEs. In Proceedings of the 16th European Conference on Information Systems, Galway, Ireland.
  14. Hicks, B.J., Culley, S.J., McMahon, C.A., 2006. A study of issues relating to information management across engineering SMEs. International Journal of Information Management, 26 (4), 267-289.
  15. ISTAT, 2008a. Occupazione e valore aggiunto nelle province, ISTAT, Roma.
  16. ISTAT, 2008b. Sistema di indicatori territoriali. [sitis.istat.it]
  17. Levy, M., Powell, P., Galliers, R., 1999. Assessing information systems strategy development frameworks in SMEs. Information & Management, 36 (5), 247- 261.
  18. Maguire, S., Koh, S.C.L., Magrys, A., 2007. The adoption of e-business and knowledge management in SMEs. Benchmarking: An International Journal, 14 (1), 37- 58.
  19. Marasini, R., Ions, K., Ahmad, A., 2008. Assessment of ebusiness adoption in SMEs: A study of manufacturing industry in the UK North East region. Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management, 19 (5), 627- 644.
  20. Martin L., Matlay H., 2001. Blanket approaches to promoting ICT in small firms: Some lessons from the DTI ladder adoption model in the UK. Internet Research: Electronic Networking Applications and Policy, 11 (5), 399-410.
  21. Northwest Regional Development Agency, 2006. Northwest Regional Economic Strategy. Warrington.
  22. Office of National Statistics, 2007. UK Businesses: Activity, Size and Location, Her Majesty's Stationary Office, London.
  23. Office of National Statistics, 2008. Regional Trends 40, Her Majesty's Stationary Office, London.
  24. Ordanini, A., 2006. Information Technology and small business: antecedents and consequences of technology adoption. Edward Elgar, Cheltenham
  25. Owens, I.., Beynon-Davies, P., 2001. A survey of Electronic Commerce utilization in Small and Medium Sized Enterprises in South Wales. In Proceedings of The 9th European Conference on Information Systems, Bled, Slovenia.
  26. Pavic, S., Koh, S.C.L., Simpson., M., Padmore, J., 2007. Could e-business create a competitive advantage in UK SMEs?. Benchmarking: An International Journal, 14 (3), 320-351.
  27. Poon, S., 2000. Business environment and Internet commerce benefit-a small business perspective. European Journal of Information Systems, 9, 72-81
  28. Zheng, J, Caldwell, N., Harland, C., Powell, P., Woerndl, M., Xu S., 2004. Small firms and e-business: cautiousness, contingency and cost-benefit. Journal of Purchasing & Supply Management, 10, 27-39.

Paper Citation

in Harvard Style

Dyerson R., Harindranath G., Barnes D. and Spinelli R. (2009). ICT USE IN SMES - A Comparison between the North West of England and the Province of Genoa . In Proceedings of the International Conference on e-Business - Volume 1: ICE-B, (ICETE 2009) ISBN 978-989-674-006-1, pages 244-251. DOI: 10.5220/0002233502440251

in Bibtex Style

author={R. Dyerson and G. Harindranath and D. Barnes and R. Spinelli},
title={ICT USE IN SMES - A Comparison between the North West of England and the Province of Genoa},
booktitle={Proceedings of the International Conference on e-Business - Volume 1: ICE-B, (ICETE 2009)},

in EndNote Style

JO - Proceedings of the International Conference on e-Business - Volume 1: ICE-B, (ICETE 2009)
TI - ICT USE IN SMES - A Comparison between the North West of England and the Province of Genoa
SN - 978-989-674-006-1
AU - Dyerson R.
AU - Harindranath G.
AU - Barnes D.
AU - Spinelli R.
PY - 2009
SP - 244
EP - 251
DO - 10.5220/0002233502440251