THE RELEVANCE OF INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY (IT) IN E-BUSINESS PROCESS (DIRECTXPLANATION.COM NIGERIA LTD)


Content

ABSTRACT

This study has examined the relevance of Information Technology on e-Business processes of SMEs, using DirectXplanation.com Nigeria Limited as a case study, where the primary data was obtained. The total sample size was 138 since 150 questionnaires were administered and 138 were retrieved from the organization, the Basic research design was survey method and questionnaire was used as a data instrument. The research hypotheses were tested using Chi-square statistical (SPSS). The analysis of the research hypotheses  indicated the following: that IT plays an important role in the increase of productivity and economic activities and IT does not only help in increasing productivity but also quality and make the way business operate less complicated, time saving, and disclose the new trends of business and how business are supposed to address changes, IT has a great influence on different business processes, and investment on IT has improved efficiently and effectively on e-business.

 

 

                                               


TABLE OF CONTENTS

TITLE                                                                                                                 PAGES

Certification                                                                                                              ii

Dedication                                                                                                                 iii

Acknowledgement                                                                                                   iv

Abstract                                                                                                                     v

Table of Contents                                                                                                     vi

           

CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION

1.1       Background to the Study                                                                            1

1.2       Statement of Problem                                                                                  4

1.3       Aim and Objectives of the Study                                                               5

1.4       Relevant Research Questions                                                                    5

1.5       Relevant Research Hypotheses                                                                 6

1.6       Significance of the Study                                                                            6

1.7       Scope of the Study                                                                                       6

1.8       Definition of Terms                                                                                     6

 

CHAPTER TWO: LITERATURE REVIEW

2.0       Preamble                                                                                                        8

2.1       Historical Background to Directxplanation.Com Nigeria Limited       8

(DXC)

2.2       Historical Background to the Studied Organization                               10

2.3       Theoretical Framework of the Study                                                        22

2.4       Meaning of e-Business                                                                                24

2.5       e-Commerce                                                                                                  23

2.6       Types of e-Business Models                                                                      30

 

CHAPTER THREE: RESEARCH METHODOLOGY

3.1       Introduction                                                                                                  34

3.2       Research Design                                                                                           34

3.3       Population of the Study                                                                              34

3.4      Sampling, Procedure and Sample Size                                                      35

3.5      Data Collection Instrument and Validation                                              35

3.6       Method of Data Analysis                                                                            36

3.7       Limitation of The Methodology                                                                36

           

CHAPTER FOUR: PRESENTATION OF DATA AND ANALYSIS

4.1       Preamble                                                                                                        37

4.2       Frequency Distribution                                                                               37

4.3       Item Analysis Based On Research Questions                                          39

4.4       Test of Hypotheses                                                                                     45

4.5       Discussion of Findings                                                                                48

 

CHAPTER FIVE: SUMMARY, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION

5.1       Summary of Findings                                                                                  50

5.2       Conclusions                                                                                                  50       

5.3       Recommendations                                                                                      51

 

References                                                                                                    53

 Appendix                                                                                                      62


CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1       BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY

The modern economic environment which is dominated by globalization, hyper-competition, knowledge and information revolution have revolutionized the way business is conducted (Pavic et al., 2007). This new technological epoch is apparent through the intensified investment in computer-processing and data preparation appliance in the manufacturing and service industry and telecommunications infrastructure, and its widespread usage in government agencies, educational organizations, and, more recently, in the households. Owing to these technological progressions, the implementation and application of Information Technology (IT) is a significant driving force behind many socioeconomic changes (Dierckx and Stroeken, 1999). As the utilization and commercialization of IT becomes more widespread throughout the world, the adoption of novel IT can generate new business opportunities and various benefits. Nowadays, both large organizations and Small and Medium-sized  Enterprises (SMEs)  are seeking out ways to reinforce their competitive position and improve their productivity (Premkumar, 2003). Accordingly, there is an increasing consciousness of the necessity to derive profit through investing in IT within SMEs. IT tools significantly assist SMEs through supplying required infrastructure necessary for providing appropriate types of information at the right time.

IT can also provide SMEs with competitiveness through integration between supply chain partners and inter-organizational functions, as well as by providing critical information (Bhagwat and Sharma, 2007). Prior to IT literature however has shown that only a small number of studies focused on the adoption and use of IT in SMEs (Grandon and Pearson, 2004). Moreover, it has been found that in spite of exponential growth of IT within SMEs, the rate of IT adoption by these businesses has remained relatively low (MacGregor and Vrazalic, 2005) and large organizations have noticeably profited more than SMEs in both their IT-enabled improved sale and costs saving (Riquelme, 2002). Looking for reasons for such differences in IT adoption in SMEs, unique characteristics of these businesses can be highlighted. SMEs generally have limited access to the market information and suffer from globalization constraint (Madrid-Guijarro et al., 2009). Moreover, management techniques such as financial analysis, forecasting, and project management are rarely used by SMEs (Blili and Raymond, 1993). Tendency to employ generalists rather than specialists, reliance on short term planning, informal and dynamic strategies and decision making process, and lack of standardization of operating procedures are other distinctive characteristics of SMEs (Dibrell et al., 2008; Thong et al., 1996). However, restricted resources controlled by SMEs, which is commonly referred to as resource poverty (Thong et al., 1997; Welsh and White, 1981), is the major differentiator between SMEs and large organizations. Therefore, and with regard to the weakness of SMEs at different organizational and managerial, technological, individual, and environmental levels, the IT adoption and use in SMEs is in a disadvantage position in this respect (Al-Qirim, 2007; MacGregor and Vrazalic, 2006). 

Most Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are usually operating in the service, trade, agri-business, and manufacturing sectors. These will include a wide variety of firms such as village handicraft makers, small machine shops, and computer software firms that possess a wide range of sophistication and skills. Some (SMEs) are dynamic, innovative, and growth-oriented while others are satisfied to remain small and perhaps family owned. How an organization uses Information Technology (IT) will largely determine how well and to what degree they will be able to implement Business Process Reengineering (BPR) observed Lotfollah et al (2012).  IT was originally considered simply as an enabler for BPR (Hammer & Champy, 1993), and while it is still true that IT can enable BPR initiatives, IT’s role in process improvement has become much greater and more varied Lotfollah et al (2012).  IT can be the initiator that drives process improvement, or the tool which makes process improvement possible especially in Nigeria where Information technology is beginning to gain momentum.  Eardley et al (2008) defined six roles that IT can play in Business Process Reengineering.  These roles are:

(1)       constraint,

(2)       catalyst, 

(3)       neutral, 

(4)       driver, 

(5)       enabler,

 (6)      proactive. 

These roles vary in impact from being constraining at the negative end to being proactive at the positive end. Lotfollah et al  (2012) observed that  modern business organization  is a complex collection of business processes, which cross multiple business units and handle everything from the mundane daily operations to core business processes. They further noted  that  business processes have changed very little since their original implementation, thus failing to take advantage of new best practices or technological advancements.  Over time, businesses realized that their current processes were no longer providing a competitive advantage, and that changes to processes were necessary in order to improve performance.  In order to change the processes or to build completely new ones, process redesign or improvement must take place (Lotfollah et al,2012)

Whether the method is Total Quality Management (TQM), Six Sigma, Business Process Reengineering (BPR), or one of the many others, the core concepts are the same: streamline the process, reduce costs, and remove waste they suggested process improvements can be incremental and continuous, or they can be giant leaps that fundamentally change the way organizations do business (Lotfollah et al,2012).  One thing in common with all process improvement initiatives is that information technology is a major component, regardless of the method.  Hammer and Champy (1993) states that  IT is an enabler of BPR, and while this is still true information technology has become more than just an enabler.  Just as throwing money at a problem will not make it go away, a business problem can’t be reengineered simply by throwing new information at it (Hammer and Champy,1993).

1.2       STATEMENT OF PROBLEM

The recent increase in technological advancement has strong impact on Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in other parts of the world including China and Brazil (Manyinka et al, 2011). Emphasis on impact of information technology on e-business processes of SMEs can be considered as an issue of much apprehension to entrepreneurs, scholars and practitioners in developing economy like Nigeria. The impact of IT on SMEs with a focus on e-business perspective has not been greatly explored in Nigeria.  

1.3       AIM AND OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY

The principal aim of this study is to examine the relevance of Information Technology on e-Business Processes of SMEs. To be more elaborate, the research work will strive to achieve the following:

1)        To determine the influence of IT on different business processes.

2)        To determine how effective and efficient e-business processes has been with the adoption and investment in the area of Information Technology..

3)        To examine the degree of relevance of Information Technology on various business processes with a focus on SMEs

4)        To determine the impact of implementing IT in SMEs on the nation's economy.

1.4       RELEVANT RESEARCH QUESTIONS

The principal question of this research is: what relevance is Information Technology in E-business Processes for SMEs, this research work will also try to answer the following questions in the course of this study:

1)     Does Information Technology have any influence on different business processes?

2)     To what extent have the business processes of organizations become effective and efficient with the adoption and investment in Information Technology?

3)     Of what relevance is Information Technology on business processes of SMEs?

4)     What exactly is the impact of implementing Information technology on the nation's economy?

1.5       RELEVANT RESEARCH HYPOTHESES

Ho: IT does not have any relevance on the business processes of SMEs

Hi:  IT have relevance on the business processes of SMEs

Ho: IT has no impact on e-business processes

Hi: IT has impact one-business processes

1.6       SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY

This study focuses on examining the relevance of Information Technology on E-business Processes. This study will help the researcher to determine the extent Information Technology companies in Nigeria use computer software to make the e-business processes easier. It will also enable SMEs learn the essence of adopting Information Technology in the business processes.

1.7       SCOPE OF THE STUDY

As a result of several constraints, time and cost limitations, this study will be focused on just one E-business company which is located in Lagos Nigeria, DirectXplanation.com Nigeria Limited.

1.8       DEFINITION OF TERMS

E-business:  is the application of information and communication technologies (ICT) in support  of all the activities of business

 Business process: is a set of linked activities that create value by transforming an input into a more valuable output.

IT infrastructure: defined as the extent to which data and applications through communication networks can be shared and accessed for organizational use.

Information Technology: is the application of computers and telecommunications equipment to store, retrieve, transmit and manipulate data,[1] often in the context of a business or other enterprise.

Competitiveness:  pertains to the ability and performance of a firm, sub-sector or country to sell and supply goods and services in a given market, in relation to the ability and performance of other firms, sub-sectors or countries in the same market.

Six Sigma: is a set of techniques and tools for process improvement.

Software: is a generic term for organized collections of computer data and instructions, often broken into two major categories: system software that provides the basic non-task-specific functions of the computer, and application software which is used by users to accomplish specific tasks.

Business Process Reengineering (BPR):  is defined as the fundamental rethinking and radical redesign of business processes to achieve dramatic improvements in critical contemporary measures of performance such as cost, quality and speed.

 

 


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