SMEs still hesitant to utilize IT in their works

Published: 29/03/2011 05:00

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Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s (VCCI) survey has found that only 46
percent of enterprises use email in their work, more than 50 percent of
enterprises do not use software in human resource, wage and sales management, and
only 20 percent of enterprises have their own websites

A
Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s (VCCI) survey has found that only 46
percent of enterprises use email in their work, more than 50 percent of
enterprises do not use software in human resource, wage and sales management, and
only 20 percent of enterprises have their own websites
.

At the workshop on utilizing
information technology (IT) to improve the competitiveness of small and medium
enterprises (SMEs) held several days ago, Le Van Loi, Director of the Business
Informatics Institute under VCCI said that by the end of October 2010, 520,000
enterprises had registered their business. This included 120,000 enterprises in
HCM City,
90,000 in Hanoi and 17,000 in Hai Phong,
accounting for 95 percent of the total enterprises in Vietnam.

VCCI, referring to the IT application
index announced in 2010, has found out that only 46 percent of enterprises use
email in their work, while more than 50 percent of enterprises say they do not
have the demand for using software for labor force and wage management, and
they do not need to use software for sales management. About 20 percent of
enterprises have websites, but the websites have been used only to introduce
images, products and services of the companies. Most of the enterprises remain
unassertive in e-commerce because they do not think that it is now the right
time to make transactions online.

Loi said that one of the
biggest problems of SMEs which have hindered the application of IT in their
works is the weak financial and labor force capabilities. In many other cases,
managers of enterprises do not have necessary awareness about the need to
utilize IT.

Agreeing with Loi, Christine
Zhenwei Qiang, a senior official of the World Bank in Vietnam, said most SMEs in developing countries
like Vietnam
have been very slow in utilizing IT in their work. They have been mostly using
telephones, fax machines or using simple software to communicate. Many owners
of small enterprises are not familiar with using computers, and believe that IT
is something which is only reserved for big companies, while their small
businesses can be run in a traditional method.

However, the expert from the
World Bank has also pointed out that SMEs still cannot access IT applications
partially because of the unsuitable way of approaching clients by IT solution
providers. In general, IT solution providers believe that they can only seek
clients from big enterprises. Therefore, they only have been targeting big
enterprises, which are believed to be affordable complicated IT solutions.
Meanwhile, they have not been focusing on developing products that fit SMEs.

She said that the most
popular way for the government to encourage SMEs to utilize IT in their works
is through workshops and training courses.  The government should emphasize the benefits
enterprises can obtain when utilizing IT so that businesses’ managers can
define overall development strategies for their companies. Besides, IT solution
providers should also pay close attention to SMEs – the very potential clients
– when marketing their products. The service providers should launch promotion
campaigns in order to encourage SMEs to familiarize themselves with using IT.
Once SMEs utilize IT, the solution providers will have a wide range of clients
who can bring profits to them.

“Enterprises should consider
IT system a part of the infrastructure. They need to choose suitable
application models for computers, office software, Internet connection or set
up websites to popularize their brands. In the near future, they need to think
of applying IT at higher levels, such us using customer service administration
software, e-certificates, or establishing online retail websites,” Loi from
VCCI said. “Besides, in order to ensure continued operations, enterprises also
should use the applications that ensure information security”.

Meanwhile, Vietnam has
made a big leap in the path towards the establishment of an e-government. The
Prime Minister in late 2010 released a decision approving the national program
on utilizing IT in the operation of state agencies in the period of 2011-2015.
The decision affirms that pushing up the IT development is a big policy of the
Communist Party and the State, a very important factor in the process of
building up an e-government in Vietnam.

The three biggest goals of
the program are 1/ building up and perfecting the information infrastructure to
create a foundation for the development of the e-government 2/ utilizing IT
widely in the operation of state management agencies and 3/ providing
information and public services online to people and businesses.

Tuyet Ngan

Provide by Vietnam Travel

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