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While the majority of businesses around the world are micro-enterprises, they are the most vulnerable and are often run by people with limited resources, and skills to be able to avail the benefits of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs). These are a form of small business which employs between 1-5 people and face challenges of limited resources, skills and ability to grow. When they do adopt IT their potential to survive and grow increases as they are then able to participate in the global economy. The challenge for global development lies in enabling these micro-enterprises to adopt the appropriate IT solution that fits their needs. Often the tools available to them are either too expensive or require more resources than they have available. Cloud computing offers an opportunity to support the growth of micro-enterprises by enabling low cost IT solutions to be made available to them so that they may adopt with little effort or skill. Since their ability to adopt technology depends upon the unique conditions in which they find themselves, we apply the extended information architecture framework to assess the impact of Cloud computing intervention on micro-enterprise growth. The analysis using this framework enables an understanding of the ways in which Cloud computing functionality and processes may support the growth of micro-enterprises. Following an analysis of these results, this paper also provides recommendations for the use of cloud computing interventions to enable growth of micro-enterprises. The contribution of this paper is in the extended information architecture framework through which cloud computing interventions may be developed and assessed to suit local conditions.


Published in Proceedings of the Fourth Annual SIG GlobDev Workshop, Shanghai, China December 3, 2011.

© 2011 Association for Information Systems. This conference proceeding was originally published here: