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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Oke advises SMEs on ICT

The Managing Director of Ibadan-based Heterogenius System Limited, Mr. Adewumi Oke, has advised Small and Medium Scale Entrepreneurs (SMEs) in the country to make use of various Information and Communication Technology (ICT) tools to advance their businesses, reports DELE OGUNYEMI.

He gave the advice in Ibadan at a roundtable discussion involving business owners and Information Technology (IT) experts on ways to combat the current global financial meltdown.

Mr. Oke said that at these days of global village, most businesses rely on IT to survive such that they could make projections on where they would stand at a specific period of time.

“Information technology tools if well deployed can help small and medium scale businesses to reduce cost of running their day to day activities. It is a known fact the world over that the cost of acquiring ICT skills is paramount to the big companies; they are not taking IT lightly and they are using IT tools by leveraging on it to balance out things,” he declared.

The IT expert also said that in Nigeria, there exist good and relatively cheap professional IT experts that could help small and medium scale enterprises to evolve tailor made special IT packages specifically designed for their businesses” he said.

On ICT tools available to business owners, Mr. Oke said that these tools are known to people by name, but the lack of specific knowledge of these tools and how they could be deployed and applied to help various businesses are the problem.

“Website is a must have for those who have small and medium scale businesses and the benefits derivable from having a functional website transcend imagination because it takes business beyond its border of brick and mortar operations,” he said.

In addition, Oke said that electronic mails (e-mail) is another effective communication tools, while software should be developed to aid business operations and management, such as in accounting packages to manage finance properly, as well as expenses and revenue.

Oke, further charged SMEs, owners to consult thoroughbred IT certified professionals before they spend their money on IT products, noting that every business has its specific need just like some could be made with the general day to day IT tools.

“Most business owners make the mistake of buying or purchasing software off the shelf because it has been used by some other business or similar business, but it should not be like that. A thorough operational need of each business has to be carried out and then the specific needs and areas of interest should be identified and appropriate software acquired, developed or recommended,” he advised.

In addition, he said, SME business owners should learn from the banks, who are all doing banking business “but the software they are using are different from one bank to another, because their operations, target, managements, customers needs are  not always the same.”

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