With a focus on Saudi Arabia it is reported that there is "no reliable local production in the fields of software or the hardware. The increased demand for ICTs is met by acquiring overseas technologies.
The trend towards increased reliance on ICTs by the Saudi people, in particular computers and internet services, is one of the highest when compared with other developing countries; however it is still far below the ownership rate in developed countries. Table 1 illustrates the ownership rate of equipment such as fixed-line telephones, cellular phone and personal computers. The ownership rate was calculated per 1000 persons in variant countries over the world." (Al-Ghaith, Sanzogni, and Sandhu, 2010) the goal of the study reported in the work of Al-Ghaith, Sanzogni, and Sandhu (2010) is to enhancing the understanding of factors that influence adoption and usage of online services in Saudi Arabia. More precisely online service adoption" was studied from the "information systems adoption point-of-view referring to the idea that consumers are using online information system via the Internet (e-service) directly and hence more knowledge on the factors that affect information systems adoption is needed. (Al-Ghaith, Sanzogni, and Sandhu, 2010)
Al-Ghaith, Sanzogni, and Sandhu (2010) report that 'perceived complexity was found to be the most sufficiently related factors affecting e-service adoption in Saudi Arabia, followed in turn by privacy and compatibility. Quality of the Internet and its relative advantage also had a notable affect on e-service usage and adoption in Saudi Arabia. Gender also played a significant role among participants regarding the adoption of e-service and it is found that Saudi women are more likely to adopt the e-service rather than Saudi men." It is reported that based on these findings it is indicated by this study that "a number of recommendations for software engineers, online service website designers, Saudi government and practitioners which might be importance in technology acceptance." (Al-Ghaith, Sanzogni, and Sandhu, 2010)
Included in the recommendations for organizations stated by Al-Ghaith, Sanzogni and Sandhu (2010) are those stated as follows:
(1) Three of the innovation attributes (Complexity, compatibility and relative advantages) examined in this study were found to be statistically significant predictors of e-service adoption. As such, private and public organizations would do well to concentrate on factors that enhance aspects of each one of the attributes;
(2) Organizations should make every effort to advertise/offer their products and services online via websites that should be easy to use. This should motivate users into adoption. Organizations should organize website contents compatible with the way people manage their needs, i.e in the traditional way, including language and consistency in terms of the users past experiences and beliefs. Above all this experience should be seen as more useful compared with the traditional ways;
(3) Organizations and e-users should cooperate jointly to develop privacy policies, policies guidelines and privacy seal programs. This cooperation can raise consumer awareness about their rights, strengthen existing regulations about compliance and adherence of online service providers to their own privacy policies and give confidence to consumers that their personal information is protected;
(4) Saudi organizations and companies should implement strategies to increase male adoption rates. As mentioned before, targeting areas of males interest (sport events) would be one way of promoting adoption;
(5) as more private and public organizations adopt online services, it becomes important for these organizations to identify factors that influence users' into adoption. The results of the study indicate that Complexity is the most significantly related factor affecting the e-service adoption in Saudi Arabia, followed by privacy and then Compatibility. Quality of the Internet and its relative advantage also had a notable affect on the e-service usage and adoption in Saudi Arabia;
(6) Results were found to be consistent with prior studies with the exception of gender, with the study finding that females in Saudi Arabia were more likely to adopt online services rather than males. This unusual trend is probably due to the nature of the Saudi society which can be described as a conservative society framed within the Arabic culture and Islamic instructions. In such a society a female tends and prefers to achieve her needs from her home by using the internet." (Al-Ghaith, Sanzogni and Sandhu, 2010)
The work of Alsaab Saif Abdullah S (2009) entitled "SMS Banking in Saudi Arabia" reports that despite the existing evidence regarding the importance of "trust in human exchange transactions, there remain knowledge gaps in conceptualizing and theorizing trust in the e-commerce context." (Abdullah, 2009) it has been conceptualized that trust is a two-dimensional construct that includes trust beliefs (TB) and trust intentions (TI).
Abdullah (2009) states that the messaging frame has been extended to include multimedia message services (MMS) which combine pictures, video and sound. It is therefore instructive to note that many authors have pointed out the strategic importance of Mobile banking (also know as M-Banking, m-banking, SMS Banking etc.) SMS stands for Short Message Service; it is a mobile technology that allows for sending and receiving text or even binary messages to and from a mobile phone. SMS Banking is a mobile technology that enables customers to both receive and request banking information from a bank on the customer's mobile phone via short message service (SMS). (Abdullah, 2009, paraphrased)
Abdullah reports that the majority of Arab countries have quite a way to go before being able to reap the benefits of the Internet and accompanying information technology (it). In fact, it is stated to be "…no exaggeration to assert that very little is known about the state of the Internet and information technology in the Arab world and more so in some parts of it. This fact suggests bad news for those banks which are eager to exploit the Internet or it to enter into the Arabian market, which is equal in size to that of the U.S.A. And in purchasing power to that of China and many other middle income countries." (Abdullah, 2009) Abdullah (2009) additionally reports that the major issues projected by business managers in Arab countries include such as "…technical obstacles and the attitudes and behaviors of e-commerce consumers. Internet shoppers mentioned security, legal regulations, consumers' privacy, and business's reputation as the most important e-commerce issues in the Arab region." (Abdullah, 2009)
Arab decision makers in view of the current "state of the Internet and it in general in the region…must be persuaded of the macro benefits of the Internet for Arab countries." (Abdullah, 2009) Therefore, it is reported that a primary issue that should be addressed is convincing decision-makers in Saudi Arabia that "it is important to take the necessary practical steps for their countries to realize the benefits of the Internet/it service such as SMS banking." (Abdullah, 2009)
Abdullah reports that the high costs associated with mobile internet banking services and the perceived difficulty of use are the factors that results in mobile internet services failing to be widely used. The study conducted by Abdullah (2009) poses the questions of:
(1) Is the usage of e-banking influenced by the accessibility of computers?
(2) Is its usage affected by e-banking awareness?
(3) does the cost of computers and Internet access affect usage of e-banking?
(4) in terms of security is the use of Internet bank transactions a concern for the use of e-banking?
(5) Are customers willing to change a factor that affects usage of e-banking? (Abdullah, 2009)
Abdullah states that the past ten years have been witness to a "…rapid accumulation of studies on electronic banking, technology-oriented bank services, and distribution channels. As the new technology spreads across various sectors, businesses as well as academicians are tempted to assess the opportunities created by the new technology in a comparative manner with the existing operations. The vast opportunities brought by the Internet to the banking industry have therefore attracted much attention from researchers whose efforts apparently group on certain areas of interest." (Abdullah, 2009)
Driving financial global economies and transforming societies into knowledge-based economies is attributed in the work of Abdullah (2009) to the Internet and other communication technologies. Recognition of the potential of these technologies in bettering the lives of people the governments of the United States, European and far east governments are investing "substantially on different initiatives to harness the full power of the Internet." (Abdullah, 2009)
Arab states such as Saudi Arabia should not be left out of the transformational phenomenon. It is stated additionally that a great many changes are generated in the facilitation of communication and information transfer primarily from "…business to business, business to customers, employers to employees etc. And in providing more and more added value services." (Abdullah, 2009) the technologies are stated to have made communication and information access "very convenient and timely to the users from the comfort of their own home and office, and from wherever they are while on the move with their mobile phone units or PDAs." (Abdullah, 2009) the use of mobile technologies is on the rise and this is particularly true…