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Implications of Digital Technology on SME'S

Task 1

P1 Research proposal that clearly defines research questions and literature review

Background of study

Small medium enterprise and digital communication technologies examines the adaptation of new technology by organisation, including drivers and problems to take up. Information technology has a great impact on business and global economy is presently undergoing major transformation (Hashim, 2015). Effective utilization of technologies is revolutionizing the rules of business and increasing growth opportunities for organisations. SMEs play an important role in economic development of UK. Digital technology has provided various direction and avenue for small business owners and entrepreneurs to reach out its customers for creating an impact innovate and grow (Taiminen and Karjaluoto, 2015). Moreover, they need to concentrate on investing in business performance improvement in quality and reliability. Adaptation of new technologies, making processes more efficient, continuous skill development, training and continuous innovation in analysed as key to success.

Present research is based on analysis and determination of implications of digital technologies on business performance of SMEs. In every organisation, there are various issues that have been identified and these problems needs to be taken in to consideration and resolved. By embracing and implementing digital transformation, these small business enterprises will be able to compete with large competitors as they grow and prosper (Kenney and Zysman, 2015). However, there are various kinds of digital technologies have discussed by researcher in this project. Cafe portraits is taken in to consideration, which is an hospitality sector enterprise aims at providing high quality services to customers through implementation of new technologies. Moreover, there are some issue have been occurred after adaptation of new technology (Gagliardi, 2013). These issues have provided negative impact on company's performance. To accomplish research project, some important aim and objectives are set by researcher.

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Research aim and objectives

Aim: To analyse the impact of digital technology on business performance of hospitality sector - A study on Cafe portrait, UK.

Objectives:

  • To understand the concept of digitalization and type of technologies used by Cafe portrait, UK.
  • To identify factors that force company to take support of digital technology.
  • To analyse the implications of digital technology on business operations of cafe portrait.
  • To recommend strategies and methods through which cafe portrait can improve their business operations through digital technology effectively.

Research rationale

I have accomplished research for achievement of experience and gain understanding about different qualitative and quantitative methods which are used for conducting research. I have selected this topic as I have personal interest in analysis of different digital technology used by small-scale organisation. This research will help in comprehending my conceptual knowledge and understand skills. Moreover, this study will also provide competencies for growth and development in the future. I will also be able to explore my career in field of hospitality industry and achievement of success in professional life. However, it will also provide support in analysing implications of digital technology in improving and expanding the efficiency of business operations.

Literature review

There are various research have been carried out by scholars on similar topic which has provided support in getting in depth analysis of present research topic. In this research, different aspects and areas are covered and provide ability to demonstrated appropriate results:

Concept of digitalization in business activities and type of technologies used by Cafe portrait

According to Martin, Ciovica and Cristescu, (2013), digitalization is termed as integration of digital technologies in day-to-day operations by digitalization of everything that can be transformed. It is also identified as method, practice or process of transforming business information in to a digital form which is easily accessible. There are various functions that need to be performed by an organisation for regulation of business effectively such as marketing, production, sales and HR management Digitalization of activities involves application of new methods which helps in completion of these functions effectively. As per the view of Milakovich, (2012), there are various technologies that have been used by Cafe Portrait in its business operations such as Information and communication technology, cloud computing, IT software and internet This aids organisation to development, promotion and selling of their products and service effectively. Adaptation of new technology also enables enterprise to improve efficiency of employees at workplace. In contrast to this Ramdani, Chevers and Williams, 2013), has also viewed that digitalization is only used for marketing and promotion of products and service by organisation in Hospitality industry. This major implication has increased the promotion of Cafe Portrait in market.

Factors that force company to take support of digital technology

As per Sommer, (2015), analysis of current market trends and requirement of customers is most important factors that force organisation to use information and communication technology. Cafe portraits also used various channels to communicate with their customers with an aim to get information about improvement in products and services. According to Heeks Subramanian and Jones, (2015), continuous innovation in important to stay competitive in an evolving market place. It clearly provides understanding that company's adopt digital technologies for implementation of innovation rapidly in their products and service. This aids them in attracting more customers and increasing in profitability in market as compared to competitors. On contrary to this, Komninos, (2013) argued that Company's adopt and use digital technology to make their business precess more effective and making it easier to accomplish business operations. There are various important aspects that like market, production , research and operation needs to be performed by Cafe portrait. By taking support of digital technology, management and its employees will be perform to perform task effectively and getting easy access to customers. According to Hashim, (2015), SMEs use digital technologies to achieve growth and development in market along with achievement of competitive advantage over rivals.

Impact of digital technology on business operations of cafe portrait

According to Sommer, (2015), digital technology has changed and infrastructure and operations of businesses from the time the internet became widely available to businesses and individuals. Digital transformation has led a profound influence on businesses by accelerating important business activities and processes to effectively leverage opportunities in appropriate manner. According to Kenney and Zysman, (2015), SME in hospitality has intended to attained growth in profitability of around 20% in last several years and also has expectations of rise in the future. Through application of digital technology, Cafe Portrait will be able to influence customer by application digital technology in marketing. The introduction of cloud computing and ICT has supported enterprise in managing its internal processes effectively through wide choice of applications. It also provides flexibility to organisation chose and make changes in software as businesses achieve growth and changes. According to Taiminen and Karjaluoto, (2015), Small business owners use technology to decrease the business costs Basic enterprise software also enabled the enterprise to digitalise its back office functions such as Keeping records, accounting and payrolls. In contrast (Eight Ways Technology Is Changing Business, 2015), has provided understanding that implementation of digital technology also increased competition in Hospitality industry between organisation. Increase in competitions has decreased profits margins of Cafe portrait and increased its cost of operations.

Research approach and methodologies 300

There are various essential methods and approaches that needs to be considered and selected by researcher in order to complete research project. Some of key methodologies are mentioned above:

Research philosophy: It is mainly deals with essential source, nature as well as development of knowledge. It is identified as beliefs of investigator about the ways through which the data related and required to conduct study will be collected, analysed and used effectively (Miller and et.al.,, 2012). In this context, there are mainly two types of research philosophies such as Positivism and interpretivism. In order to accomplish this study, scholar has will use interpretivism philosophy as it will provide in gathering data and identification of issues in appropriate manner.

Research Approach: It implies to methodology that helps investigator to determine the effectiveness of selected research process. Research approach is also based on utilization of appropriate tools that helps in getting understanding of gathered information (Smith, 2015). There are mainly two types of research approach such as inductive and deductive approach. However, in this research project scholar will utilize deductive research approach as it helps in getting accurate data which is will be used to complete research effectively.

Research Design: This is analysed set of procedures and effective methods which is utilized by scholar for collection of information and analysis of effective measures (Panneerselvam, 2014). These In this, descriptive method of research design is will be used by scholar to accomplish research because it enables scholar to accomplish study without making any changes in collected data.

Sampling: It is essential method that is utilized by scholar for selection sample size from the large population. Random sampling method will be used investigator for selection from sample size from employees of cafe portraits.

Data collection: It involves the methods used to collect data and carry out relevant conclusion on the basis. In order to analyse implication of data digital technology on business performance of Cafe portrait, both primary and secondary method will be used by scholar. Questionnaire will be framed by scholar to gather information form employees of Cafe portrait (BNS and HV, 2013).

Data analysis: This implies to transformation of collected data in to information by using appropriate tools and techniques. In present research project, scholar will use thematic analysis method to interpret data by using relevant charts and diagrams.

Task 2

P3 Primary and secondary research using appropriate methods 400

There are various effective research methods have used by investigator in order to carry research on analysis of implication of digital technology on business performance of cafe portrait. It will provide support in achievement of aim and objectives such as:

Research Philosophy: This is important method used for carrying out research project, implies to the belief on scholar related to appropriate methods which are used for collection of data. As discussed, research philosophy is classified in to two important method such as Positivism and interpretivism (Silverman, 2016). Further, Positivism is based on fact that only factual information and knowledge which is gained through observation that involves measurement is correct. Moreover, interpretivism depends upon naturalistic method of data collection through interviews and observation. It also provides importance to secondary data in research. Thus, for completion of research scholar have implemented interpretivism philosophy as it in collection of data effectively and making judgement on the basis of outcomes.

Research Design: It is blue print of study that contains process that needs to be followed by researcher to carry out research in appropriate manner (Neuman, 2013). There are mainly two commons methods of research design such as exploratory and descriptive research design. In this research project, Investigators has utilized descriptive method which is based collection of data through naturalistic observation and survey. It also provides support in demonstration of theories which are related to research topic.

Research Approach: These are analysed as method which are used by scholar to undertake research in appropriate direction. Use of effective approach will help in determining effective of selected procedure of conducting research. There are usually two common research approaches such as inductive and deductive (Taylor, Bogdan and DeVault, 2015). As per findings, deductive approach focuses on development of Hypothesis on the basis of existing theory and designing of effective strategy for testing of hypothesis. Inductive approach is only based on pattern of observation and development of explanations. In this context, deductive will be utilized by scholar because it determines possibility of generalizing findings of research to certain extent.

Sampling: Process basically utilized in statistical analysis under which predetermined number of sample size will be taken from larger population. There are mainly two methodologies such as probabilistic and non probabilistic sampling. Probabilistic sampling involves method like random, systematic and stratified sampling whereas non probabilistic include method such as cluster and convenience sampling (Mackey and Gass, 2015). In this project, random sampling method is used by scholar for calculation of sample size and collection of information. 20 employees of cafe portrait have been taken as sample for completion of research.

Data collection: This method is essential to undertake research and achievement of objectives. It implies to use effective technique for collection of useful information from selected respondents. Data can be collected by using two method such as primary and secondary. As per the findings, primary method implies to collect of information by using questionnaire or survey. In secondary analysis, Scholar has collected data from literatures, books, journals and online articles which are already published. In present research, questionnaire is prepared by researcher for collection primary data.

Data analysis: This involves transformation of collected data in to appropriate information which is used to provide understanding outcome of research to supervisor. This has been accomplished through inspection, cleaning, transformation and modelling of collected data (Brinkmann, 2014). By using this, researcher will aid user to analyse meaning of collected data effectively. In this, research has implementation thematic data representation which involves presentation and interpretation of data by using relevant charts and diagrams.

Ethical consideration: In present research, there are various ethical aspects have been considered by researcher while collection of information such as:

  • Advised consent: It is essential for researcher to get consent of respondents while collection of information. In this, persmission of supervisor have been taken for collecting information from employees.
  • Confidentiality: All data collected for respondent will be gathered and stored in secured data base. No unethical practices have been used to collect data.

Research Limitations: There are some issues have been faced scholar while collecting information such as:

  • Collection of data from respondent was difficult because they have not provided proper support at initial stage but after taking consent of their superiors they have provided information.
  • Lack of time and appropriate resources have also provided difficulty in accomplishment of research effectively.
  • Due to security and encryption of files, researcher was not able to access some important journal articles.

P4 appropriate analytical tools for analysis of research findings and data.

Primary analysis

Theme 1: digital technology is used Cafe portrait in their business operations

1) Are you agree that digital technology is used Cafe portrait in their business operations?

Respondents

(a) Agree

15

(b) Disagree

5

Interpretation: In this research, conducted on analysis of implication of digital technology, Questionnaire is used by scholar to gather data. From the above diagram, it is clear that 15 respondents are agreed with statement that digital technologies are utilized in Cafe portrait. 5 Respondents are those who are not disagreed with statement. However, it can be said that digital technology is effectively utilized by organisation in business operations.

Theme 2: Information and communication technology has provided support to enterprise in customers relationship management

2) Do you think that information and communication technology has provided support to enterprise in customers relationship management?.

Respondents

(a) Yes

12

(b) No

5

(c) Not sure

3

Interpretation: In this table, it is identified that 12 respondents have voted “Yes” because they feel that information and communication technology has provided support to enterprise in customers relationship management. 5 Respondents have voted “No” as do not think so whereas 3 respondents are not sure about this statement. However, It is clear that ICT has provide support to cafe portrait in customer relationship management.

Theme 3: Deduction operation cost is most important factor that force enterprise to take support of digital technology

3) Select the main factors that force enterprise to take support of digital technology?.

Respondents

(a) Reducing operations cost.

10

(b) Customer relationship management.

6

(c) Promotion

4

Interpretation: As per mentioned diagram, It is analysed that 10 respondents are those who have selected that reduction in operation cost is main factor which force organisation to take support of digital technology. 6 respondents have stated it takes support for customer relationship management whereas 3 employees said that it takes support for promotion of products and service among customers. Thus, it can be said that digital technology is used by enterprise to reduce the cost of operations.

Theme 4: Decline in cost is most important benefits achieved by organisation after implementation of digital technology

4) Select the most important benefits achieved by organisation after implementation of digital technology?

Respondents

(a) Decline in operating cost.

11

(b) Increase in sale.

5

(c) attracting customers.

4

Interpretation: This chart provide understanding that there are 11 respondents who have stated that decline cost of operation is important benefits achieved by organisation after implementation of digital technology. 5 respondents have said that increase in sale whereas 4 respondents have replied that it will help in attracting customers. Thus, it can be said that decline in cost of operations is most important benefits achieved by organisation after implementation of digital technology

Theme 5: Training is not provided to employees by supervisor to handle digital technology

5) Does the training provided to employees by supervisor to handle digital technology?

Respondents

(a) Yes

5

(b) No

11

(c) Not sure

4

Interpretation:In this table, it is clear that 5 respondent have stated that training is provided to employees by supervisor to handle digital technology. 11 respondent have denied this statement because they did not think that whereas 4 respondents was not sure about the statement. Therefore, it can be interpreted that training is not provided by supervisors to employees for handling of digital technology,.

Theme 6: Employee turnover is main problem faced by Cafe portrait after implementation of digital technology.

6) What is main problem faced by Cafe portrait after implementation of digital technology?

Respondents

(a) Labour turnover

12

(b) Rise in cost

5

(c) Rise in competition

3

Interpretation: As per this diagram, it is identified that 12 respondents are those who have stated that labour turnover is main problem faced by organisation after implementation of digital technology. 5 respondents have stated increase in cost is major problem whereas 3 respondents stated that organisation has faced problems due to rise in competition. Thus, it is clear that increase in employee turnover is major problem faced by Cafe after implementation of digital technology.

Theme 7: Profitability of Cafe portrait increased after implementation of digital technologies

7) Do you think that profitability of Cafe portrait increased after implementation of digital technologies ?

Respondents

(a) Yes

14

(b) No

3

(c) Not sure

3

Interpretation: This chart provides clear understanding that 14 respondents are there who think that profitability of Cafe portrait increased after implementation of digital technologies. 3 respondents are those did not think so whereas 3 respondent are not sure about statement. However, it is clear that profitability of Cafe portrait increased after implementation of digital technologies.

Theme 8: Performance of Cafe portrait of organisation is increased in Hospitality industry after implementation of digital technology

8) Is the performance of Cafe portrait of organisation is increased in Hospitality industry after implementation of digital technology ?

Respondents

(a) Yes

12

(b) No

6

(c) Not sure

2

Interpretation: From this report, it is clear that there are 12 employees who have stated that performance of Cafe portrait of organisation is increased in Hospitality industry after implementation of digital technology. 6 Respondents have denied the statement because they did not think that whereas 2 respondents have stated that they are not sure about the statement. Therefore, it is considered that performance of Cafe portrait of organisation is increased in Hospitality industry after implementation of digital technology

Task 3

P5 Reflection on effectiveness of research methods applied in research project

For accomplishment of research on analysis of implication of digital technology on business operations of enterprise. There are various effective methods have been used by scholar to accomplish research. Cafe portrait is selected by researcher to accomplish the project effectively. Description research design which is used by scholar was effective because it has provided support in accomplishment of project effectively. The scholar have also selected interpretivism philosophy which was also effective in analysing the belief of scholar towards collection of information. There are effective research method have been used by scholar with an aim to achieve the relevant outcome. Deductive research approach is also effective because it has provided support to scholar in collecting information by suing questionnaire and completion of research process effectively. Questionnaire containing 8 questions has been asked by researcher from the selected 20 employees of Cafe portrait from different departments. Most of the respondents was from managerial level and operation department which has provided their support in accomplishment of research effectively. Secondary data collected from various methods like Journals, books and online articles have also provided fruitful understanding that digital technology has provided positive impact on small business enterprises in hospitality industry. Survey was analysed as economical method for collection of data and also provide support in saving time which is consumed by data collection.

From this analysis, scholar has effectively analysed that digital technology has provided both positive and negative implication on business operations.

P6 Alternative research methodologies and lesson learn in view of outcomes

There are various method have been available through research can be completed effectively by scholar. The other alternative method of research which are developed by authors aids in providing more relevant and specific information related to research scope and objectives. In addition to this, other research methodologies can be used by scholar to carry out research. Apart from using qualitative method, scholar can also use quantitative method for completion of research. This provides support in accomplishment of research aims and objectives effectively. Positivism philosophy can also be used by scholar rather than interpretivism so that information can be collected more effectively. Instead of using questionnaire for collection of data, scholar can conduct survey or use observation method to collect more specific informations. Interview method can also be used by scholar to collect information. It not only precise information about the use of digital technology but also deliver recent knowledge about the behaviour of employees at workplace.

References

  • Taiminen, H.M. and Karjaluoto, H., 2015. The usage of digital marketing channels in SMEs. Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, 22(4), pp.633-651.
  • BNS, R. and HV, R., 2013. An overview of interpretive phenomenology as a research methodology. Nurse Researcher (through 2013), 20(6), p.17.
  • Brinkmann, S., 2014. Interview. In Encyclopedia of critical psychology (pp. 1008-1010). Springer New York.
  • Gagliardi, D., 2013. Next generation entrepreneur: innovation strategy through Web 2.0 technologies in SMEs. Technology Analysis & Strategic Management, 25(8), pp.891-904.

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