Knowledge, skills and expertise related to IT management, selection, justification, implementation and adoption of new IT software applications and hardware is always a problem – specifically related to managing effective IT supplier relationships. This paper provides a continuing narrative of a small construction (SMEcon) company’s experiences and perspectives managing their IT supplier relationships. Harwood (2003) has produced a comprehensive list of factors that should be considered when selecting an IT supplier and IS application comprising: functionality, implementation approach, costs, organisational credibility and viability, experience, support, reputation, manner of relationship and responses and finally future plans and strategy. It can be seen that the technological frames concept and approach can provide a level of interpretative analysis that may enable a better understanding of how to manage complex client and IT vendor relationships. In summary, the systemisation of SMEcon’s management information systems and the subsequent attempts to automate them, have involved a huge learning curve and the divisions and gaps between business owners, staff and users and IT technologists have been exposed. The lack of IT knowledge of owner managers is something that they often admit to but refuse to take seriously. No actors on either side of the fence in this case SMEcon and SMEsup1, SMEsup2 and SMEnet would take ownership of the problems of effectively managing the new IT technologies. This was then a situation where every party was a loser in the deal. The use of technological frames in this case has enabled an interpretation of the data which surfaces some major issues in SME owner manager culture and also the SME IT vendor/supplier industry.
Douglas, Alan; Wainwright, David; and Greenwood, D, "The Dynamics of IT Supplier Relationships with Construction SMEs: a Technological Frames Approach" (2010). UK Academy for Information Systems Conference Proceedings 2010. 20.