BMI-T uncovers ICT potential of SME sector

JOHANNESBURG (03/23/2004) - BMI-TechKnowledge Group (BMI-T) has announced the publication of its latest report -- the South African SME IT User Trends report -- which uncovers the ICT potential of the SME market.

Iain Machanick, analyst at BMI-T, says that overall the SME market in this country is relatively immature and unsophisticated when it comes to ICT, as demonstrated by the level of ICT spend and lack of knowledge concerning different vendors and service providers.

"The SA economy is driven by manufacturing, mining, agriculture and exports; these areas typically have a large workforce and high revenues in proportion to other sectors. Unfortunately they have a disproportionate low number of PC/knowledge users," he says.

Machanick notes, "The potential in the SME market is most apparent in the PC sector and 'Like works with Like', that is SME end-users typically use SME service providers, as they are flexible enough to provide varied, and, in some cases, uncontracted requirements of the SME sector."

Key findings of the South African SME IT User Trends report include, that in terms of business processes and solutions, half of the respondents would continue outsourcing at the same level as the previous calendar year, while 20 percent of respondents do not outsource at all.

The report also found that growth is expected to be realized in the areas of CRM, supply chain automation, and information access tools, as respondents indicated they were either considering these solutions or were in the building phase.

"Accounting modules currently have the highest installed base, with HR and payroll applications in second place. The cold areas relating to ERP are insurance modules, health care, and logistics applications. The areas regarded as being of strategic importance include, least cost routing, Web services, and supporting mobile users, while little or no interest was shown in wireless LANs," concludes Machanick.

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