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Adaptation, Implementation and Utilisation ICT in the Hospitality Industry: Trends and Perspectives from a Developing Country Faith Samkange University of Derby, Buxton: School of Hospitality Managemen Abstract ADAPTATION, IMPLEMENTATION AND UTILISATION ICT IN THE HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY: TRENDS AND PERSPECTIVES FROM A DEVELOPING COUNTRY Paper submitted for the ICT Africa 2008 Conference By Faith Samkange and David Crouch: University of Derby Buxton fsamkange@yahoo.co.uk Abstract: There is limited industry specific research activity on information and communication technology (ICT) regarding the hospitality industry (HI) in developing countries (DCs). This research paper is part of ongoing research designed to explore ICT trends in hotel foodservice management from a user perspective. Grounded theory and participatory research methodologies were used to conduct this case study which involved 15 hotels and 45 managers in Kenya. The wholesale importation of software packages coupled with limited capacity to adapt and implement them to suit local challenges is a growing and worrying trend. Consequently, hotels have acquired complex ICT systems which are underutilised. Multifaceted strategies are needed to enhance the capacity of the hotels to objectively assess their own ICT implementation programmes and develop appropriate local initiatives to address this growing problem. Key words ICT trends, adaptation, implementation and utilisation Introduction The linkage between technological development and economic development has been well documented (Grossbauer 2004; Moyo1996). Research indicates that countries that compete effectively on the global market place generally enjoy a technological advantage and these tend to be developed countries. The digital revolution sweeping across Europe, America and some Asian countries has altered the economic landscape and the business environment. Progressive business organisations in these countries have not only embraced electronic management (e-management) of information systems and technical business operations but demonstrated the ability and capacity to adapt implement and utilize ICT systems for best business practice carving niches for themselves on the global market place as their levels of productivity improve. Generally business organisations in DCs continue to struggle technologically finding it increasingly difficult to make their mark on the same marketplace. While the north south digital divide diversifies, global competition is gathering momentum leaving developing countries more vulnerable economically. Although this digital divide remains a topical issue on local and international platforms (Grout, Oram and Pickling 2006), little is known regarding its nature, scope and impact on specific industries. This paper is based on a current, broad-based research initiative designed to make a positive contribution towards bridging this knowledge gap. This initiative attempts to unpack ICT challenges facing Kenya as a DC from an industry specific perspective and provokes the much needed debate required to stimulate, catalyse and accelerate development in this respect. The paper, therefore, examines technological developmental (TD) trends with specific reference to the adaptation, implementation and utilization of ICT in the foodservice management aspects of (HI) from a user perspective. Economic Development and Technological Advancement Attempts to get to grips with the relationship existing between technological advancement and economic

development tend to suggest an interesting economic equation summarised as follows: Technological Availability and Accessibility + Efficient Utilisation = Operational Efficiency Enhanced Productivity+ Profit Margins (The greater the availability and accessibility of technological resources plus the more efficient and effective the utilisation of those resources; the greater the operational efficiency and effectiveness; the higher the quality and...
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