THE EFFECT OF INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY ON THE PERFORMANCE OF SMALL AND MEDIUM SIZE ENTERPRISES
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This study aimed at assessing effect of Information and communication technology on the performance of SMEs in Buea municipality, Cameroon. Specially, the study was aimed to examine the effect of hardware on the performance of SMEs and to assess the effect of software on the performance of SMEs in Buea. The descriptive survey method was used wherein 40 SMEs in Buea where surveyed. Data was obtained through a structured questionnaire designed for that purpose and the data was analyzed using descriptive statistics (frequency, percentages, charts and tables) and inferential statistics (correlation analysis) with the help of Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS). The hypothesis was tested through a correlation test, and it revealed that there is a positive relationship between ICT and performance of SMEs with a correlation coefficient of (r = 0.562) whereby 26.3% of performance of SMEs could be attributed to ICT components. The study concluded thus that ICT has a significant impact on SMEs performance. The study thus recommended that SMEs should get specialized, independent consultant, this is due to the fact that sometimes SMEs choose technologies that may not be right for the SME at a given time, and also SMEs might fail to choose systems that will support business over long time. The study also recommended that the governments should be encouraged to support software development and in particular the capacity development of skilled labors in the applications of ICT.
KEYWORDS: Information and Communication Technology, Hardware, Software and Performance