SME means small-to-medium enterprise. SME can be defined as a form of enterprise that has a small size office or a home office with a large size enterprise and the number of employees is not more than 50. There are three criterias that define if an office belongs to SME or not. They are micro-sized(<10AWU), small-sized(<50 AWU), medium sized(<250 AWU). In our era the SME provides almost 70% of employment. So, it has a great contribution to the economy.
At present we are living in the time when the world is entering in the era of information and communication technology. The improvement of information and communication technology has changed a lot of things in our day to day life, society, economy, businesses and every other thing globally. The impact of ICT in human life can’t be described in words. Everyday the use of ICT is being increased in every sector as well as in the sector of SME. Today we are going to see if it is making any change in the SME sector and if it is making, then is it positive for SME or not.
In present days ICT is changing the structure of business both locally and globally. It is even introducing new business ideas in our society. Adoption of ICT can make a business more efficient and profitable. There is no alternative to ICT for a successful development of a company.
Advantages of ICT in SME:
The use of ICT has brought a big revolution in the communication system. The whole world has become like a village and the different countries are like localities of that village. It has brought the whole world near at hand. You can communicate with anyone from anywhere in the world easily whenever you want. As SME businesses don’t have a lot of employees, ICT works like an efficient employee for them. They can make contact with clients, other companies and all easily. With the help of ICT the productivity of a company can be increased in every way. Technologies can work more efficiently and promptly than human employees. It can save your time, reduce the costs you spend to pay the salary of employees and in other ways and does a nearly perfect job. As we know a SME can be small or medium, so accordingly their budget may also be small or medium for business and ICT can help them to maintain their budget. You can arrange meetings in video calls which can reduce travelling cost, electricity cost etc. In factories, the use of different technologies can make productivity high and faster. You can store the information, data, histories using ICT and use them or check them anytime you want. You don’t need to read a lot of record books to find a small amount of data anymore. Using technologies you can make your less than 50 employees do the work of employees twice in number. Technology can increase productivity in such a way that using it even a small or medium enterprise can produce the thing which they couldn’t even think to do without technology. Thus, ICT helps you to think bigger, make bigger and be bigger. This can motivate many people to come forward with their small or medium enterprises, and can also motivate our youth on starting their entrepreneurship and becoming entrepreneurs. Present days we see a lot of entrepreneurs and a good number of SME institutions around us. It has become possible due to the help of ICT and the improvement of the ICT sector only. ICT can help you also with the publicity for SME. When people come to know about others working with SME and getting success through this, others get the motivation. You can even impress your clients with this. They can get to know about you, your experience, they can contact you worldwide.
Disadvantages of ICT in SME:
Though ICT can have some bad impact on SME too. As we are discussing things, then we should also learn about the negative side too. With the improvement of ICT and innovations of different systems we have become a lot dependent on technologies. We can’t think of our single day without it, especially in our work. We store all our data and information and try to keep them secret using different technologies. But are they always trustworthy? Maybe not, right? Hackers can hack them and can steal our data anytime. Even these technologies can get vulnerable at any time and become accessible for anyone. It can create a great trouble for SME as they want to keep all their history, information, data, client information, client data, project information, project data and everything private from others. If their rivals or others can access them, it will cause great harm to them. Over dependence on technologies can cause unproductivity in humans. If they become dependent on ICT for everything they do, then their natural ability or productivity will get reduced. Over use of ICT in companies or enterprises can create unemployment problems also.
So, from the above discussion we can see that the increasing rate of use of ICT has both negative and positive impact on SME. But here also should be mentioned that you can overcome the negative sides by making the proper and efficient use of technologies in your work. If you can make the best use, then ICT will give you the best result and performance in your SME.