How SMEs Strive to Achieve Competitive Advantage with IT-Supported Business Processes: An Empirical Study.
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Results from a longitudinal empirical study on the use of information technology (IT) in Swiss small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) form the basis of this paper. In the recent survey, 917 questionnaires were collected and analysed. Selected findings are presented in ten conclusions which were drawn from the analysis of the responses. We see that the degree of information integration is very high in Swiss SMEs. Surprisingly, secondary process areas are better integrated across the company than primary process areas. The electronic exchange of data is quite common in SMEs and is performed, in many cases, at an international level. Swiss SMEs see the customer-oriented processes as important for their future competitiveness. On the other hand, they lay great importance on a well-working accounting process and the effective access to a management information system. Most SMEs embrace IT as a way to improve their business.