Over the recent years, rapid development of Information Technology (IT) and Electronic Commerce (e-Commerce) has dramatically affected world trade and the way business is conducted. Also the benefits of using e-commerce and other internet-based technologies have been well recognized through extensive surveys pointing the dominant role of IT in different industries. However, implementation of any new technology such as e-commerce in business relationships and applying ICT tools require vital infrastructures and urges major changes within companies to adopt the new technology. Therefore, to ensure a productive and beneficial implementation of internet-based technologies, in the first step, one needs to investigate infrastructures and measure electronic readiness (e-readiness) of organizations in this regard.
To address such a need, this paper describes a procedure to assess e-readiness of SMEs in technology-affected environments by applying VERDICT as an e-readiness assessment model. This study as an initial application of VERDICT within automotive industry, investigates e-readiness level of downstream within the biggest vehicle manufacturer of Iran i.e., Iran Khodro Industrial Group, and has also some contributions in the applied model based on empirical findings which were achieved through an extensive survey by distributing revised questionnaires of VERDICT and following a quantitative approach.
Furthermore, an efficient route of benchmarking provides scientific comparison between e-readiness level of the case studied in this paper and that of other companies selected from another market in UK. Ultimately, the achievements of this research would result in some implications for both theoretical and managerial peopel where an outline would be provided for organizations across different industries to facilitate electronic commerce applications efficiently by investigating and improving their essential infrastructures through assessing their overall level of electronic readiness.