Roles of information technologies for small-scale furniture businesses

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Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is increasingly believed to be a powerful tool for facilitating business in a free trade era, creating a digital revolution. However, such a revolution can potentially hamper the desire to make globalisation work for all by expanding the digital divide; since many rural people do not have sufficient financial, physical and knowledge capital to access ICT. This paper presents our preliminary findings, in which we evaluate the application of ICT in facilitating small-scale furniture enterprises in Jepara District in Central Java, Indonesia, based on three main indicators: effectiveness, efficiency, and equity. We found that effective use of ICT for marketing was more determined by media placement than by media choice. Thus, a bombarding strategy which pervasively advertises products through all available online media is the most effective strategy. On the contrary, efficient use of ICT for marketing is more determined by media choice than by media placement. Thus, with limited capital, media choice is a more efficient strategy than media placement. In general, access to ICT is currently unequal. Without relevant policy interventions and initiatives, this inequity could increase due to the positive feedback loop that exists between ICT accessibility and wealth.

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