Revisiting IT readiness: an approach for small firms

Romano Dyerson (School of Management, Royal Holloway University of London, Egham, UK)
Riccardo Spinelli (Department of Economics and Business Studies, University of Genoa, Genoa, Italy)
G Harindranath (School of Management, Royal Holloway University of London, Egham, UK)

Industrial Management & Data Systems

ISSN: 0263-5577

Publication date: 11 April 2016



Drawing from the literature, the purpose of this paper is to offer an empirically validated framework for examining information technology (IT) readiness in small firms.


A conceptual framework of IT readiness for small firms is developed and validated empirically using a quantitative survey of 117 UK manufacturing small firms to identify distinct clusters of firms according to their states of IT readiness.


The survey responses are grouped according to three distinct profiles that display varying degrees of IT readiness depending upon their strategic motivation, IT processes, project management and technology complexity.

Research limitations/implications

Prior studies examining IT readiness in small-and medium-sized enterprises have not offered a differentiated understanding of small firms that is grounded in quantitative data. The varying profiles of small firms discovered indicate potential paths of IT readiness which offers a basis for further research using longitudinal case studies.

Practical implications

Managerial motivation is not a sufficient condition for achieving IT readiness; it requires both strategic and operational capabilities that have significant implications for training and skills development in small firms. Understanding the level of IT readiness of their organisation can help managers identify areas needing improvement in their use of IT.

Social implications

Findings suggest differentiated policy support is required for various small business clusters identified in the study.


The novelty of the conceptual model differs from the prior literature on IT readiness by explicitly recognising the potential effect of IT maturity on the capability of the firm to respond to opportunities in its external environment. The paper also distinguishes between internal IT processes and project management skills.



Romano Dyerson, Riccardo Spinelli and G Harindranath (2016) "Revisiting IT readiness: an approach for small firms", Industrial Management & Data Systems, Vol. 116 No. 3, pp. 546-563

Download as .RIS





Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2016, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Please note you might not have access to this content

You may be able to access this content by login via Shibboleth, Open Athens or with your Emerald account.
If you would like to contact us about accessing this content, click the button and fill out the form.
To rent this content from Deepdyve, please click the button.