Global Positive Effects of ICT Usage and Adoption in SMEs: A Literature Review Prior to the COVID-19 Crisis

Sujit Kumar Basak(1*), Marguerite Wotto(2), Paul Bélanger(3)

(1) Université du Québec à Montréal (UQÀM)
(2) Université du Québec à Montréal (UQÀM)
(3) Université du Québec à Montréal (UQÀM)
(*) Corresponding Author


The Covid - 19 has certainly increased the uses of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in all domains. Despite this, ICT had become an integral part of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) that are the backbones of a nation’s economic development. This article’s objective is to analyze the global positive effect of ICT uses and adoption in SMEs across the world before the Covid - 19. Consequently, a systematic literature review methodology was used based on a few steps, namely, formulation of review questions, search strategy devising, study selection criteria, quality appraisal criteria, and finally design of studies to select and download 220 articles before 2020. Out of them, a total of 85 most significant and well-informing article’s analysis is conducted. The results showed ICT has positive impacts on SMEs production and performance in the world (Asia, Africa, Europe, Australia, Oceania, North America, and South America) and it also changes and improves the work mode, technics, and conditions of SMEs. Due to missing data, this research has not included all the countries of each continent. Considering results analysis from all countries would give better outcome.


ICT; SMEs; Productivity; Performance; Adoption

Full Text:



Abdullah, S. S., Azim, S., & Ramanchandram, R. (2013). Impact of information system on firm’s performance: small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Bangladesh, 168-174.

Adebisi, K. S., & Adekola, O. A. (2016). Challenges facing the adoption of information technology in the management of small and medium enterprises in Nigeria. International Journal of Business and Management Invention, 5(5), 71-77.

Admirall, W., & Lockhorst, D. (2009). E-learning in small and medium-sized enterprises across Europe-Attitudes towards technology, learning and training. International Small Business Journal, 27(6), 743-767.

Agarwal, P. (2016). Integrating ICT in Teacher Education. International Journal of Education and Applied Research, 6(1), 23-25.

Akomea-Bonsu, C., & Sampong, F. (2012). The impact of information and communication technologies (ICT) on small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs) in the Kumasi Metropolis, Ghana, West Africa. European Journal of Business and Management, 4(20), 152-158.

Al-Alawi, A. I., & Al-Ali, F. M. (2015). Factors affecting e-commerce adoption in SMEs in the GCC: An empirical study of Kuwait. Research Journal of Information Technology, 7(1), 1-21.

Ashrafi, R., & Murtaza, M. (2008). Use and impact of ICT on SMEs in Oman. The Electronic Journal Information Systems Evaluation, 11(3), 125-138.

Ashrafi, R., Sharma, S. K., Al-Badi, A. H., & Al-Gharbi, K. (2014). Achieving business success through information and communication technologies adoption by small and medium enterprises in Oman. Middle-East Journal of Scientific Research, 22(1), 138-146.

Attom, B. E. (2013). The impact of information communication technology (ICT) on business growth strategies of small and medium-scale enterprises (SMEs) in the Awutu-Senya East Municipality of Central Region of Ghana. Asian Journal of Business and Management Sciences, 3(2), 13-28.

Balocco, R., Ghezzi, A., Rangone, A., & Toletti, G. (2012). A strategic analysis of the European companies in the ICT sales channel. International Journal of Engineering Business Management, 4(6), 1-10.

Basak, S.K., Wotto, M., & Bélanger, P. (2016). A Framework on the Critical Success Factors of E-Learning Implementation in Higher Education: A Review of the Literature. World Academy of Science and Technology. International Journal of Educational and Pedagogical Science, 10(7), pp. 2409-2414.

Bauchet, J., & Morduch, J. (2013). Is micro too small? Microcredit vs. SME finance. World Development, 43, 288-297.

Beley, S. D., & Bhatarkar, P. S. (2013). The role of information technology in small and medium sized business. International Journal of Scientific and Research Publications, 3(2), pp. 1-4.

Birkland, J. L. H. (2013). A Theory of ICTS User Types: Exploring Domestication and Meaning of ICTs through Comparative Case Studies. Ph.D. Syracuse University.

Bresnahan, T., Brynjolfsson, E., & Hitt, L. M. (2002). Information technology workplace organisation and demand for skilled labour: firm level evidence. Quarterly Journal of Economics, 117(1), 339-76.

Brock, J. K. (2000). Information and Communication Technology in the Small Firm. In D. Jones-Evans and S. Carer (eds.) Enterprise and Small Business: Principles, Practice and Policy, Harlow, UK: FT-Prentice Hall, 2000, 384-408.

CEFRIO (2011). Use of ICT by Canadian SMEs: A survey of over 2,000 companies. Available at

Cereola, S. J., Wier, B., & Norman, C. S. (2012). Impact of top management team on firm performance in small and medium-sized enterprises adopting commercial open-source enterprise resource planning. Journal Behaviour & Information, 31(9), 889-907.

Chacko J. G., & Harris G. (2006). Information and communication technology and small medium and micro enterprises in Asia-Pacific –Size does matter. Information Technology for Development, 12(2), 175-177.

Chahud, C. D. D. (2005). Information and Communication Technology (ICT) for development of small and medium-sized exporters in Latin America: Peru. Project document.

Collins, C., Buhalis, D., & Peters, M. (2003). Enhancing SMTEs' business performance through the internet and elearning platforms. Education Training, 45(8/9), 483-494.

Colombo, M. G., Croce, A., & Grilli, L (2013). ICT services and small businesses’ productivity gains: An analysis of the adoption of broadband Internet technology. Information Economics and Policy, 25(3), 171-189.

Corso, M., Martini, A., Paolucci, E., & Pellegrini, L. (2001). Information and Communication Technologies in Product Innovation Within SMEs: The Role of Product Complexity. Enterprise and Innovation Management Studies, 2(1), 35-48.

Croucher, K., Quilgars, D., Wallace, A., Baldwin, S., & Mather, L. (2003). Paying the Mortgage? A Systematic Literature Review of Safety Nets for Hometown.

Dantur, M. L., & Khaskheli, A. (2017). E-commerce Adoption in Argentina and Its Role in SMEs Growth. 2017 4th International Conference on Advanced Education Technology and Management Science (AETMS 2017), 204-208.

Enríquez, L. A., Cuevas-Vargas, H., & Adame, M. G. (2015). The Impact of Information and Communication Technologies on the Competitiveness: Evidence of Manufacturing SMEs in Aguascalientes, Mexico. International Review of Management and Business Research, 4(3), 758-770.

Esselaar, S., Stork, C., Ndiwalana., & Deen-Swarray, M. (2007). ICT usage and its impact on profitability of SMEs in 13 African Countries. International Technologies and International Development, 4(1), 87-100.

Farvaque, N., Voss, E., Lefebvre, M., & Schutze, K., 2009. Guide for Training in SMEs. European Commission. .

Garg, A. (2016). ICT adoption and SME’s: A contextual framework. International Journal of Engineering Technologies and Management Research, 3(12), 1-11.

Gazem, N., & Rahman, A. A. (2015). Matrix for mapping ICT roles in small and medium enterprises with TRIZ inventive principles based on redesign service types. Jurnal Teknologi (Sciences & Engineering), 73(2), 67-75.

Gikenye, W., & Ocholla, D. N. (2012). An overview of the diffusion of information and communication technologies (ICTs) in the informal sector in Kenya. Nairobi: SCECSAL XXth Conference, 231-255.

Gilaninia, S., Mousavian, S. J., Omidvari, N., Bakhshalipour, A., Bakhshalipour, A., Eftekhari, F., & Seighalani, F. Z. (2012). The role of ICT in performance of small and medium enterprises. Interdisciplinary Journal of Contemporary Research in Business, 3(9), 833-839.

Golding, P., Donaldson, p., Tennant, V., & Black, K. (2008). An Analysis of Factors Affecting the Adoption of ICT by MSMEs in Rural and Urban Jamaica. ECIS 2008 Proceedings 237,

Guzman, G. M., Lopez Torres, G. C., Serna Martinez, M., & Garcia, S. M. (2015). Information Technology and Competitiveness: The Mexico’s SMEs Context. Proceedings of the International Symposium on Emerging Trends in Social Science Research (IS15Chennai Symposium), Chennai-India, 3-5 April 2015.

Hamburg, I., & Engert, S. (2007). Competency-based Training in SMEs: The Role of E-Learning and E-competence. In Proceedings of the 6th IASTED International Conference "Web-based Education", March 14-16, 2007, Chamonix, France. Anaheim: Acta Press, 189-193.

Hasan, M., & Muljadi, I. (n. d). The impact of e-commerce on small and medium sized enterprises (SME) in Australia.

Ibujés-Villacís (2017). ICT Infrastructure in the Metal Mechanical SMEs of Quito and its Relationship with Business Management. Proceedings of the 8th International Conference on Society and Information Technologies (ICSIT 2017), 18-22.

International Finance Corporation. (2012). IFC and Small and Medium Enterprises. Washington DC. International Finance Corporation.

Internet World Stats: Usage and Population Statistics (2022). Accessed on 30 December 2022.

Jia, J (2008). Electronic Commerce and Internationalization in New Zealand SMEs. Masters Thesis. Auckland University of Technology.

Kossaï, M., & Piget, P. (2014). Adoption of information and communication technology and firm profitability: Empirical evidence from Tunisian SMEs. Journal of Higher Technology Management Research, 25(1), 9-20.

Levy, M., & Powell, P., and Yetton, P., (1998), SMEs and the gains from IS: From cost reduction to value added. In proceedings of IFIP 8.2/8.6, Helsinki, Finland, December.

Locke, S. (2001). Adoption of Information Communication Technology by New Zealand SMEs. Proceedings of 14th Conference of SEAANZ, Wellington, 13-15 September.

MacGregor, R. C., & Vrazalic, L. (2005). A basic model of electronic ecommerce adoption barriers: A study of regional small businesses in Sweden and Australia. Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, 12(4), 510-527.

Manyonde, A., & Choga, F. (2014). Awareness of the mobile accounting systems for Kenyan small to medium enterprises (SMEs): Case of Nairobi Urban. International Journal of Research in Humanities and Social Studies, 1(1), 7-12.

Melchioly, S. R., & Sæbø, Ø. (2010). ICTs and development: Nature of mobile phones usage for SMEs economic development- An exploratory study in Morogoro, Tanzania. ICT and Development – Research Voices from Africa. International Federation for Information Processing (IFIP), Technical Commission 9 – Relationship Between Computers and Society. Workship at Makerere University, Uganga. 22-23 March.

Mojica Peñalba, J. E., Guzmá, G. M., & Mojica, E. G. (2015). The Effect of Information and Communication Technology in Innovation Level: The Panama SMEs Case. Journal of Business & Economic Policy, 2(2), 124-131.

Mokaya, S. O (2012). The adoption of information and communication technology by small enterprises in Thika Municipalty, Kenya. International Journal of Business and Social Science, 3(13), 172-177.

National Credit Regulator (NCR) (2011). Literature review on small and medium enterprises’ access to credit and support in South Africa.

OECD (2003). Broadband driving growth: Policy responses. Working Party on Telecommunication and Information Services Policies, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

OECD (2004). SME statistics: Towards a more systematic statistical measurement of SME behaviour. 2nd OECD Conference of Ministers Responsible for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs), pp. 1-152.

OECD (2009), OECD Science, Technology and 12 industry scoreboard 2009

Olise, M. C., Anigbogu, T. U., Edoko, T. D., & Okoli, M. I. (2014). Determinants of ICT for improved SME’s performance in Anambra State, Nigeria. American International Journal of Contemporary Research, 4(7), 163-176.

Osorio-Gallego, C. A., Londoño-Metaute, J., & López-Zapata, E. (2016). Analysis of factors that influence the ICT adoption by SMEs in Colombia. Intanggible Capital, 4(2), 666-698.

Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (2006). Postnote. ICT in Developing Countries. Available at

Paulsen, M. F. 2009. Successful E-learning in Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises. European Journal of Open, Distance and E-Learning, 1-9.

Peguy, C. F. C., Christophe, K. K., & Valere, N. N. P. (2009). Investments in ICT capital and productivity of SMEs empirical evidence from Cameroon.

Rahayu, R., & Day, J. (2017). E-commerce adoption by SMEs in developing countries: evidence from Indonesia. Eurasian Business Review, 7(1), 25-41.

Rahayu, R., & Day, J. (2015). Determinant factors of e-commerce adoption by SMEs in developing country: evidence from Indonesia. Procedia – Social and Behavioral Science, 195, 142-150.

Roy, A. (2015). Barriers to e-Learning in SMEs – Are they still There? Chapter 18 from the book E-learning-Instructional Design, Organizational Strategy and Management. Published by INTECH open science.

Roy, A., & Raymond, L. “Meeting the Training Needs of SMEs: is e-Learning a Solution?” The Electronic Journal of e-Learning, 6(2), 89-98.

Short, H. J. B. (2016). The Hidden Word of e-learning in Small and Medium Enterprises. PhD thesis, University of Portsmouth.

Sianjase, G., & Libati, H. M. (2016). Assessing the impact of information and communications technologies on the performance of small-scale enterprises: Case of Kitwe (Zambia). Proceedings of the 10th International Multi-Conference on Society, Cybernetics and Informatics (IMSCI 2016), 157-162.

Sichel, D. E., & Oliner, S. D. (2000). The resurgence of growth in the late 1990s: is information technology the story?. Journal of Economic Perspectives, 14(4), 3-22.

Skoko, H. 2004. Medeli usvajanja ICT u australijskim i jugoslovenskim MSP. Beograd: Zadužbina Andrejevi´c.

Southern, A., & Tilley, F. (2000). Small Firms and Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs): Toward a Typology of ICTs Usage. New Technology, Work and Employment, 15(2), 138-154.

Spanos, Y. E., Prastacos, G., & Poulymenakou, A. (2002). The relationship between information and communication technologies adoption and management. Information & Management, 39(8), 659-675.

Stiroh, K. J. (2002). Information Technology and the U.S. Productivity Revival: What Do the Industry Data Say? American Economic Review, 92(5): 1559 –76.

Tan, S. K., Chong, C. S., Lin, B., & Eze, C. U. (2009). Internet based ICT adoption: evidence from Malaysian SMEs. Industrial Management and Data Systems, 109(2), 224-244.

Temtime, Z. T., & Pansiri, J. (2006). Proactive marketing and financial management for small and medium enterprises. BIAC Journal of Business, Management and Training, 2(1), 53-67.

United Nations (2008). Measuring the impact of ICT use in business: The case of manufacturing in Thailand. United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.

Wallace, A., Bevan, M., Croucher, K., Jackson, K., O’Malley, L., and Orton, V. (2005). The impact of empty, second and holiday homes on the sustainability of rural communities-a systematic literature review. The centre for housing policy, The University of York, pp. 1-142.

World Economic Forum (2008a). Global Information Technology Report 2007-2008.

World Economic Forum. (2008b). The Global Competitiveness Report 2008-2009.

Yunis, M., El-Kassar, A. and Tarhini, A.(2017). Impact of ICT-based innovations on organizational performance: the role of corporate entrepreneurship. Journal of Enterprise Information Management, 30(1), 122-141.

Yusuf, A. A. (2013). Impact of ICT on SMEs – Case Rwanda. Bachelor’s Thesis. Turku University of Applied Sciences.

Zhelyazkov, G. I. (2012). The impact of ICT systems on road transport SMEs in Australia.

Zoto, S., & Elmazi, L. (2012). Acceptance of e-government services as a tool for SMEs competing locally and globally: the case of Albania, International Journal of Management Case, 14(2), 51-56.

Article Metrics

Abstract view(s): 707 time(s)
PDF: 332 time(s)


  • There are currently no refbacks.