Lightweight framework for mobile documentation of very small enterprise business transactions
Ndhlovu, Brenda Malese
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In this study, an investigation was conducted to determine an appropriate lightweight framework that could adequately support Very Small Enterprises (VSEs) in documenting their daily business transactions. The VSEs play a significant role in the socioeconomic development of nations by providing employment opportunities. They contribute to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and provide a platform for entrepreneurial skills advancement. However, VSEs have very little access to innovative Information and Communication Technology (ICT) that could help to address the unique challenges that prohibit their growth and sustainability. In many instances, the documentation of VSEs business transactions is still lacking. This deficiency promotes insufficient, unreliable and untraceable business transaction records which ultimately affect the smooth growth and sustainability of VSEs. Mobile technology provides the VSEs with a unique opportunity because of its support for mobility and low costs of system procurement. Moreover, mobile technology can enable easy connection, access and retrieval of VSE services even in the resource constrained environments anytime and anywhere. However, the inherent limitations of mobile devices such as device size, storage size, computing power and battery lifespan have forced many of the existing ICT business applications to continually rely on desktop computers. The desktop computer applications are huge, complex and not compatible with the current mobile devices. The Design Science Research (DSR) method was used to understand how VSEs conduct their daily business transactions, discover essential factors that influence the business processes of VSEs and derive a lightweight framework for mobile documentation of VSE business transactions. The lightweight framework was prototyped as ICT artefact and evaluated to determine the adoption of mobile applications by VSEs for documentation of daily business transactions. The evaluation results revealed the developed lightweight framework to be effective for mobile documentation of VSEs business transactions.