Promoting SMEs effectiveness through innovative communication strategies and business-IT alignment

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The firm’s effective alignment of Information Communication Technology (ICT) capabilities with the SME’s business process to achieve agile communication strategies will distinguish profitable and failing firms in this global market milieu. The paper examined SMEs’ communication strategies in South Africa and Nigeria by evaluating their ability to align business and IT to promote innovation and competitive edge in their operations. Quantitative data from 230 SMEs in Nigeria and South Africa were presented. The findings indicated that the business manager’s knowledge of IT understanding is limited (= .29), the effectiveness of IT and business liaison and cooperation (= .30), and the dynamic of IT-based decision-making (= .33), and the SME’s knowledge sharing experiences through organization learning (= –.07). These findings showed a lack of communication effectiveness due to the inability to align ICT capabilities with the SME’s communications strategies. Similarly, an inverse correlation between communication and ICT infrastructure (–.26); between communication and skill (–.32); between communication and business and IT governance (–.71); between communication and ICT value that the SMEs derived from their use of information communication technology (–.78) due to lack of business and IT alignment. The paper recommends that SMEs must not rely on the acquisition of ICT infrastructure but must ensure its integration with their business processes.

Acknowledgment
The financial assistance of the National Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences- Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa (NIHSS-CODESRIA) towards this research is hereby acknowledged. Opinions expressed and conclusions are those of the author and are not necessarily to be attributed to the NIHSS- CODESRIA.

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    • Figure 1. Factor analysis model to illustrate SMEs communication strategies vis-a-vis their BITA _ (see each construct assigned coding and variable labels in Appendix)
    • Conceptualization
      Patrick Ajibade
    • Data curation
      Patrick Ajibade
    • Formal Analysis
      Patrick Ajibade
    • Software
      Patrick Ajibade
    • Validation
      Patrick Ajibade, Stephen M. Mutula
    • Writing – original draft
      Patrick Ajibade
    • Methodology
      Stephen M. Mutula
    • Resources
      Stephen M. Mutula
    • Supervision
      Stephen M. Mutula
    • Writing – review & editing
      Stephen M. Mutula