This paper discusses the role of firm's knowledge assets in influencing the introduction of ICT innovation. Though the role of collective learning as a mean of diffusion is often recognised, the importance of internal knowledge related to the different functions of entrepreneurial activity as a fundamental resource for ICT acquisition, innovation and performance has not been enough emphasised. Indeed such a role should be considered particularly relevant in backward regions. In this view, the paper proposes an interpretative model where various knowledge assets are considered as independent variables in a simultaneous model including ICT acquisition, innovation and performance. The model is tested for a sample of firms located in local productive systems belonging to three different regions (Lombardia, Emilia, Sicilia). The results confirm that the diversification of functional competence plays an important role in the learning process concerning new technologies, especially in backward areas.