Call for Papers: Emerging digital technologies and applications for SMEs
Short Title SI: Digital Tech and SME
In the current digital era, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) use digital technologies to grow their online businesses alongside their offline operations. The digital environment provides numerous opportunities for entrepreneurs who start and run SMEs to have an impact and grow their businesses. Retail industries and operations have had to adapt to the digital environment in order to adjust to the needs of customers around the world during the COVID-19 lockdown. There is a strong need for digital technologies in order to grow businesses with a restricted budget and limited resources. Emerging technologies, especially in data analytics (Sun et al., 2020), enterprise communication and artificial intelligence, are paving the way for SMEs’ growth and optimization.
Emerging digital technologies have created new opportunities along with new legal challenges, particularly in relation to copyright, trademarks, patents, royalties and licensing. Using digital technologies can offer a more efficient or useful way of reshaping processes. The idea is not only to replicate an existing service digitally, but also to use technologies to make that service substantially better. As companies adopt digital tools to create new processes or replace existing ones, they affect other key areas such as workplace culture and customer experience. With digital transformation (Castagna et al., 2020; Quinton et al., 2018), companies are rethinking everything they do, from internal systems to online and personal customer interactions. While the concept of emerging digital technologies is nothing new, it can offer a valuable tool for companies of all sizes from all industries, resulting in better business performance, cost advantages and competitive advantages, especially in the post-COVID-19 world.
Artificial intelligence (AI) has fast become a popular application for many business sectors because it focuses on building intelligent machines capable of solving specific problems, much like people can. More and more companies are developing AI applications, cutting costs and making AI accessible to a wide range of businesses (Duan et al., 2019). AI also fuels other popular technologies, such as automation and chatbots (Ghezzi & Cavallo, 2020), which enable professionals in many fields to complete processes more efficiently and accurately. AI-equipped tools improve internal business operations and allow employees to develop their creative skills and make data-driven decisions (Duan et al., 2019).
Smart technologies for customer support in SMEs (Kamble et al., 2020; Kwofie & Tetteh, 2020) enable these firms to smarten up their processes and bring efficiency and speed to their operations by leveraging conversational AI, machine learning and natural language processing to handle queries from customers instantly. It is difficult to manage workflows single-handedly with overloaded responsibilities in terms of marketing, administration and other areas. Therefore, using digital technologies and chatbots to automate processes is critical. Automating the process of dealing with customer queries instantly gives high customer satisfaction, which boosts revenue growth. There is enough scope for transforming this area and stimulating the overall growth of the economy. With the proliferation of emerging technologies (such as AI, blockchain, the cloud, and the Internet of Things), their reach will continue to expand. To support SMEs, there are numerous initiatives to empower small businesses, such as digital payments. SMEs can take this opportunity to continue to grow ever faster.
SMEs that adopt cloud technology are likely to leverage these opportunities. The main reason is that cloud technology (Liu et al., 2020) is advanced, affordable and easy to use. Password management, customer relationship management and e-mail management are major challenges for SMEs. Small businesses can improve their operations and productivity enormously by moving to the cloud. Doing so will increase their revenue, thereby setting them ahead of the competition.
This special issue provides an opportunity for researchers and academicians working in this area to publish their research articles on the real-time development of SMEs with emerging digital technologies. The proposed special issue is targeted at (but not restricted to) the following topics:
The role of emerging digital technologies for SMEs
Effective ways of implementing emerging digital technologies in SMEs in the future
The design and development of a workflow model for the digital transformation of SMEs
The importance of emerging digital technologies in the synthesis of SMEs’ decision-making processes
Frontiers in digital technologies in SMEs
New trends in interactive decision-making processes with emerging digital technologies
Knowledge representation and reasoning with the digital platforms of SMEs
Enhancements to re-representation in SMEs’ business intelligence
A systematic perspective of intelligent decision-making processes with digital transformations
Automation in business using digital ecosystems
Innovative ways of using digital technologies for effective revenue growth in SMEs
Manuscript submission deadline: 30-Dec-2021
Notification of Review: 30-April-2022
Revision due: 30-Jun-2022
Notification of 2nd Review: 30-Aug-2022
2nd Revision [if needed] due: 15-Sep-2022
Notification of Final Acceptance: 30-Sep-2022
All submissions have to be prepared according to the Guide for Authors as published in the Journal’s website at: https://www.elsevier.com/journals/international-journal-of-information-management/0268-4012/guide-for-authors
Authors should select “SI: Digitalization and SMEs”, from the “Choose Article Type” pull-down menu during the submission process. All contributions must not have been previously published or be under consideration for publication elsewhere. Link for submission of manuscripts: https://www.evise.com/evise/jrnl/IJIM
A submission based on one or more papers that appeared elsewhere must bear major value-added extensions or updates (at least 50% of new material). Authors are requested to attach to the submitted paper their relevant, previously published articles and a summary document explaining the enhancements made in the journal’s version.
All submitted papers will undergo a rigorous peer-review process that will consider programmatic relevance, scientific quality, significance, originality, style and clarity.
The acceptance process will focus on papers that address original contributions in the form of theoretical, empirical and case research, leading to new perspectives on Digital Technologies and Applications for SMEs.
*Prof. Domingo Ribeiro-Soriano (Managing Guest Editor)
Universitat de València, Spain
*Prof. Vijayakumar Varadarajan
The University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia
Castagna, F., Centobelli, P., Cerchione, R., Esposito, E., Oropallo, E., & Passaro, R. (2020). Customer Knowledge Management in SMEs Facing Digital Transformation. Sustainability, 12(9), 3899.
Duan, Y., Edwards, J.S. and Dwivedi, Y.K., 2019. Artificial intelligence for decision making in the era of Big Data–evolution, challenges and research agenda. International Journal of Information Management, 48, pp.63-71.
Kamble, S. S., Gunasekaran, A., & Sharma, R. (2020). Modelling the blockchain enabled traceability in agriculture supply chain. International Journal of Information Management, 52, 101967.
Kwofie, B., & Tetteh, E. D. (2020). Emerging Opportunities for Blockchain Use by Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in Developing Economies. In Cross-Industry Use of Blockchain Technology and Opportunities for the Future (pp. 166-175). IGI Global.
Ghezzi, A., & Cavallo, A. (2020). Agile business model innovation in digital entrepreneurship: Lean startup approaches. Journal of Business Research, 110, 519-537.
Liu, Y., Soroka, A., Han, L., Jian, J., & Tang, M. (2020). Cloud-based big data analytics for customer insight-driven design innovation in SMEs. International Journal of Information Management, 51, 102034.
Quinton, S., Canhoto, A., Molinillo, S., Pera, R., & Budhathoki, T. (2018). Conceptualising a digital orientation: antecedents of supporting SME performance in the digital economy. Journal of Strategic Marketing, 26(5), 427-439.
Sun, W., Zhao, Y., & Sun, L. (2020). Big data analytics for venture capital application: Towards innovation performance improvement. International Journal of Information Management, 50, 557-565.