Given that microfinance in developing nations boosts economic development, and technology also accelerates growth, shouldn’t small business technology audits be more prevalent in developing nations?
Why Technology Audits Aren’t “One Size Fits All”
That was exactly my thought process a few months ago when I came across an interesting request for help on LinkedIn Answers (May it RIP). The requester was Mativenga Chihwenga, an associate at Price Waterhouse Coopers, asking for ideas on writing a dissertation on IT system audits.
One person who answered, a compliance consultant, steered Chihwenga in the direction of Sarbanes-Oxley Compliance. Another person suggested concentrating on ISO 27000 and SAS 70 Type II. A third who replied, interestingly enough, was in the middle of his own dissertation topic planning on a related subject and provided a very detailed list of brainstorming ideas.
My approach was quite different.
Small Businesses in Developing Nations Change Lives
After clicking through on Chihwenga’s LinkedIn profile and learning he was from Zimbabwe, I suggested that the dissertation address small business technology audits in developing nations.
Just as the third responder confirmed, when thinking about technology audits, everyone naturally has in mind a Fortune 1000, or large government, enterprise IT department.
Tackling small business technology audits in nations like Zimbabwe could definitely be a unique dissertation topic.
Planning a Dissertation on Small Business Technology
For example, you might want to learn:
Why so few small businesses invest in system audits, when these same companies routinely have annual financial audits
How various stakeholders, such as government agencies, IT vendors, banks, insurers, and universities, have historically addressed this issue
What various stakeholders could do going forward
Because different-sized small businesses and different vertical markets can have vastly different technology needs and budgets, I recommended grouping small businesses into categories:
By size – such as micro small businesses with fewer than 10 employees, small businesses with 10-50 employees, and large small businesses with more than 50 employees
By industry – taking a sector-by-sector look at the five biggest industries in each developing nation
As a starting point, I also recommended learning more about what World Bank does for small businesses with its World Bank Small & Medium Enterprise Department.
How do you feel about the importance of small business growth in developing nations? Can small business technology audits be the catalyst for more widespread technology adoption and more rapid growth? Please share your thoughts in the Comments box below.
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