Contact Us

For Marketing, Sales and Subscriptions Inquiries
2637 E Atlantic Blvd #43110
Pompano Beach, FL 33062

Conference List

International Journal of Education and Practice

September 2014, Volume 2, 9, pp 213-221

Improving SME’s Capacity through Learning and New Technologies

Ileana Hamburg

Ileana Hamburg 1

  1. Institut Arbeit und Technik (IAT) – WH Gelsenkirchen, Germany 1

on Google Scholar
on PubMed

Pages: 213-221

DOI: 10.18488/journal.61/2014.2.9/

Share :


Economic pressure and other pressure issues faced by small and medium sized companies (SMEs) require continuous improving of their capacities, of staff knowledge, of training and learning to survive or stay competitive. This issue is at the top of European, national and regional policies. But due to limited resources, often managers reduce learning activities and  using new technologies in their companies. 
Blended learning is a suitable way to learn in SMEs to increase their efficiency, to keep up competitiveness/surviving of the companies. Scenario-based learning is one method to be used in blended learning in order to improve learner engagement and problem understanding.
Cloud computing is one of the emerging ICT trends in the past seven years. It has received much hype particularly in the past two years, with many companies considering the efficiency of cloud computing for their business, reduced costs, and easy access of data and particularly of new emerging ICT applications with little overhead.
This paper contributes in the existing literature with results of interviews and case studies within projects aimed at problems of SMEs like suitable learning methods, advantages of cloud computing for SMEs efficiency and presents examples. The paper’s primary contribution is finding that blended learning is a suitable form for increasing competitiveness of SMEs and could be used also by introducing cloud services which will change the landscape of business also in SMEs in the next years.

Contribution/ Originality
The paper shows how European projects and cooperative work with participation of actors from different sectors can contribute to improving competitiveness and growth of SMEs 



  1. Admiraal, W. and D. Lockhorst, 2009. E-learning in small and medium-sized enterprises across Europe: Attitudes towards technology. Learning and training. International Small Business Journal, 27(6): 743-767.
  2. Beer, D., T. Busse, I. Hamburg and C. Oehler, 2008. Improving eLearning practices in SMEs. Brussels, Proceedings of the SIMPEL.
  3. BSI-Federal Office for Security in Information Technology, 2011. BSI technical guideline 03125: Preservation of evidence of cryptographically signed document. Available from
  4. Carcary, M., E. Doherty and G. Conway, 2013. Understanding and supporting cloud computing adoption in irish small- and medium-sized enterprises. In Proceedings of the 7th European Conference on Information Management and Evaluation, Gdansk, Poland. Available from
  5. Chermack, T. and R.A. Swanson, 2008. Scenario planning: Human resource development's strategic learning tool; advances in developing human resources. Adv. Dev. Hum. Resour, 10(2): 129–146.
  6. European Commission, 2013. A recovery on the horizon. Annual Report on European SMEs. Available from
  7. Fraunhofer FOKUS, 2010. Cloud-computing in der öffentlichen verwaltung – chancen und herausforderungen dynamischer IT-dienstleistungen. Berlin: Fraunhofer FOKUS.
  8. Garavan, T.N. and D. O’Donnell, 2003. Elearning in irish organizations? Available from [Accessed 2013].
  9. Godet, M. and F. Roubelat, 1996. Creating the future: The use and misuse of scenarios long range planning. 29(2): 164-171.
  10. Graham, C.R., 2006. Blended learning systems: Definition, current trends and future directions. In Bonk, C.J. & Graham, C.R. The handbook of blended learning San Francisco Pfeiffe.
  11. Hamburg, I., 2012a. Learning as a service – a cloud-based approach for SMEs. Service computation 2012: The Forth International Conference on Advanced Service Computing. pp: 53-57.
  12. Hamburg, I., 2012b. Guidelines for increasing the adoption of cloud computing within SMEs. Cloud computing 2012: The Third International Conference on Cloud Computing, GRIDs, and Virtualization: 7-10.
  13. Hamburg, I. and M. Marian, 2012. Supporting knowledge transfer and mentoring in companies by e-learning and cloud computing. In: Chiu, D., Popescu E. & Li, Q. (eds.). ICWL 2012: the 11th International Conference on Web-based Learning; 02.-04.09.2012, Sinaia, Romania; Local Workshop Proceedings, Craiova: Univ. of Craiova. pp: 91-101.
  14. Hamburg, I. and M. Marian, 2012. Supporting knowledge transfer by cloud computing. In: Chiu, Dickson K. W. / Wang, Minhong / Popescu, Elvira / Li, Qing / Rynson, Lau (eds.): New horizons in web based learning: ICWL 2011 International Workshops, KMEL, ELSM, and SPeL, Hong Kong, China, December 8-10, 2011; ICWL 2012 International Workshops, KMEL, SciLearn, and CCSTED, Sinaia, Romania, September 2-4, 2012; Revised Selected Papers. Heidelberg: Springer. pp: 231-240.
  15. Hamburg, I. and E. O'Brien, 2013. E-learning 2.0, social media and communities to improve knowledge in com-panies. Service Science and Management Research, 2(3): 33-38.
  16. Karabek, M.R., J. Kleinert and A. Pohl, 2001. Cloud services for SMEs – Evolution or revolution? Business + Innovation, 1: 26-33.
  17. Khalid, A., 2010. Cloud computing: Applying issues in small. 2010 International Conference on Signal Acquisition and Processing.
  18. Layo, I., 2013. Cloud computing advantages for SMEs.18th Sept 2013. Available from [Accessed 18th June 2014].
  19. Marston, S., Z. Li, S. Bandyopadhyay, J. Zhang and A. Ghalsasi, 2011. Cloud computing – the business perspective. Decision Support Systems, 51: 176-189.
  20. Moebs, S., S. Weibelzahl, E. Tomadaki and P. Scott, 2006. Innovative approaches for learning and knowledge sharing. EC-TEL 2006 Workshops Proceedings, ISSN 1613-0073. pp: 10-17.
  21. O'Brien, E. and I. Hamburg, 2014. Supporting sustainable strategies for SMEs through training, cooperation and mentoring. Higher Education Studies, 4(2): 61-69.
  22. Schoemaker, P., 1995. Scenario planning: A tool for strategic thinking. Cambridge, Mass: Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Sloan Management Review, 36(2): 25-40.


Google Scholor ideas Microsoft Academic Search bing Google Scholor


This study received no specific financial support.

Competing Interests:

The author declare that there are no conflict of interests regarding the publication of this paper.


This paper describes work within the projects SIMPEL, ReadiSME, SmartPA and DIMENSAAI, supported by the European Lifelong Learning programme.

Related Article

( 1 ) Improving SME’s Capacity through Learning and New Technologies
( 2 ) Effectiveness of Gamification of Web-Based Learning in Improving Academic Achievement and Creative Thinking among Primary School Students
( 6 ) Teaching of Mathematics and Physics in Secondary School through Research and Study Paths
( 7 ) Managing the Nigerian Tertiary Education for National Transformation through Effective Continuous Staff Training and Development (CSTD)
( 8 ) Building a Project Culture through Research and Innovation Training of Future PhDs in Ukraine
( 9 ) MHD Mixed Convective Heat and Mass Transfer through a Stratified Nanofluid Flow Over a Thermal Radiative Stretching Cylinder
( 10 ) Pre-Service Teachers Professional Development through Four-Step Problem-Solving Model: A Seminar Method
( 11 ) Initiatives for Accomplishing the TIMSS 500 CenterPoint through Curricula, Teachers' Development and Instructional Strategies
( 12 ) Out-of-Field Social Studies Teaching through Sustainable Culture-Based Pedagogy: A Filipino Perspective
( 13 ) Effectiveness of E-Learning in Teaching Chemistry With Reference To Certain Selected Variables
( 14 ) The Impact of Teacher-Pupil Ratio on Teaching-Learning Process in Primary Schools: Experiences from Tanzania
( 15 ) Remediating Some Learning Difficulties of L200 Science Education Students of Modibbo Adama University of Technology in Some Physics Concepts Using Multiple Representations
( 16 ) Using Jigsaw Technique as an Effective Way of Promoting Co-Operative Learning Among Primary Six Pupils in Fijai
( 17 ) Comparative Analysis of Learning Styles of Students of USA and Bangladesh
( 18 ) Gender and Location Influence on Ghanaian Students’ Perceptions of Energy and Classroom Learning
( 19 ) Learning Analytics in Practice: Development and Implementation of A Support System to the Management of the Teaching Activity
( 20 ) Using Cooperative E-Learning Teaching Strategy to Enhance Students’ Creativity in Secondary School Biology: A Study of Selected Schools in Nakuru County, Kenya
( 21 ) Key Challenges of Work-Based Learning Application in Teaching and Learning Strategies for Accounting Programs
( 23 ) The Importance of Computers with Matlab Software in the Teaching and Learning of Geometry in Space
( 24 ) Development of Competence Balance-Oriented Integrative Thematic Learning Tools to Foster Critical Thinking Skill and Positive Character of Elementary School Students
( 25 ) Student- Teacher and Student- Student Interaction in Second Language Teaching- Learning Environment: A Micro-Teaching Case Study
( 26 ) The Potential of E-Learning in Meeting the Needs of Migrant Communities
( 27 ) Mainstreaming ICT Mobile in Teaching Large Classes in Higher Learning Institutions in Tanzania: The Case of Ardhi University
( 28 ) Preference of Learning Styles and its Relationship with Academic Performance among Junior Secondary School Students in Dutse Local Government Area, Jigawa State, Nigeria
( 29 ) Effective Application of Local Teaching Aids for Cost Control in Learning Islamic Studies in Nasarawa State, Nigeria
( 30 ) Educationally Game-Based Learning Encourages Learners to be Actively Engaged in their Own Learning
( 31 ) Testing the Factorial Equivalence of the Collegiate Learning Assessment Performation Task Diagnostic Instrument Across Lower Class and Upper Class Predominantly Black College Students
( 32 ) Challenges to E-Learning in Public Secondary Schools in Edo State in The 21st Century
( 33 ) Perceptions of the Open Distance and E-Learning Model at a South African University
( 34 ) Virtual Learning Environment: Exploring the Role of Teacher as a Central Factor
( 35 ) Teacher Perceptions of the Impact of Peer Learning in their Classrooms: Using Social Interdependence Theory as a Model for Data Analysis and Presentation
( 36 ) When Virtual Becomes Better than Real: Investigating the Impact of a Networking Simulation on Learning and Motivation
( 37 ) Effects of Utilizing the STAD Method (Cooperative Learning Approach) in Enhancing Students' Descriptive Writing Skills
( 38 ) Anxiety in Classroom Presentation in Teaching - Learning Interaction in English for Students of Indonesian Study Program at Higher Education
( 39 ) Industry 4.0: Employers Expectations of Accounting Graduates and its Implications on Teaching and Learning Practices
( 40 ) Using the Semantic Differential Method to Assess the Learning Motivation and Attitude of First-Year Students towards Chemistry in University of EMERCOM of Russia
( 41 ) Understanding the Impact of Determinants in Game Learning Acceptance: An Empirical Study
( 42 ) Agribussiness Mobile Based Learning: ADIC Model to Support Students HOTS and Life Skill in Vocational School
( 44 ) The Power of Role-Playing in Counseling Children with Learning Difficulties in Inclusive Schools of Indonesia
( 45 ) Development of Learning Videos for Junior High School Math Subject to Enhance Mathematical Reasoning
( 46 ) Impact of Electronic Interaction Patterns in a Collaborative Learning and Instructional Anchors-Based Environment on Developing Instructional Design Skills and Achievement Motivation
( 47 ) Participatory Teaching and Learning Approach: A Framework for Teaching Redox Reactions at High School Level
( 48 ) The Motivation and Experience of Distance Learning Engineering Programmes Students: A Study of Non-Traditional, Returning, Evening, and Adult Students
( 49 ) The Effectiveness of a Cloud-Based Learning Program in Developing Reflective thinking Skills in Islamic Education among Students in UAE