IT usage increasing in SMEs

The CII Survey on the usage of Information Technology amongst the Indian SMEs, reveals a modest improvement in the degree of IT usage over last year.
Written by ZDNET Editors, Contributor
The CII Survey on the usage of Information Technology amongst the Indian SMEs, reveals a modest improvement in the degree of IT usage over last year

INDIA (ZDNet India)- The CII survey covers responses from small and medium industry members from all over the country, covering a broad spectrum of Industry groups and activities.

28 percent of the respondents described the degree of IT usage in the company as Good; 28 percent described it as Adequate; 33 percent described it as Marginal.

The percentage of respondents who described IT usage in their firms as Excellent has gone up from 5 percent to 7 percent over the last year while the number of SMEs who were not using IT at all has considerably declined from 11 percent to 4 percent this year.

Faster execution, better customer service, cost savings, increased productivity, improved quality and better relationship with partners were cited as the main benefits that accrue to companies from IT usage.

7 percent of the respondents cited the usage of Internet as Excellent; 22 percent rated it as good; 27 percent rated Internet usage in their organization as Adequate; 39 percent as Marginal while 5 percent of the respondents were not using the Internet at all.

66 percent of the respondent SMEs have their own Web site or Home Page while 34 percent do not have an Internet presence.

The surveyed SMEs cite Product Display and description of Product usage as the most frequent use of their Web site. Selling, advertising, data collection, data transfer and training are some of the other purposes for developing and maintaining the company Web site.

31 pecent of the respondents stated that they were satisfied with the Return on Investment from the Web site. However, 62 percent respondents were not satisfied with the returns on investment from the Web site as against only 7 percent respondents who realized more than their expectations.

Increase in turnover due to Web site presence % of respondents
5% of the turnover 82
5%-25% of the turnover 15
25%-50% of the turnover 3

The survey reveals that the intensity of usage of IT within the organisation by various functional groups can be categorised into heavy, medium and light users.

Degree of IT usage IT applications
Heavy user Finance, Sales & Marketing and Corporate
Medium user R&D/Design, Operations and Distribution/Logistics
Light user Servicing, HRD/Administration and Manufacturing/Production

Application+ E-commerce - current E-commerce - likely to use in 2 years
Accounting I VI
Customer Support and After Sales Service III I
Conducting Sales IV I
Employee Training/Retraining VII IV
Maintaining Inventory II III
Production Distribution VI V
Shipping and Distribution V VII

The survey reveals that accounting and inventory management are the two key areas where e-commerce is currently being used. Over the next two years, the sales/marketing function and customer support and after sales service will be the focus of e-commerce in SMEs.

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