Factors Influencing the Adoption of Cloud Computing: A Mixed-Methods Approach

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Title: Factors Influencing the Adoption of Cloud Computing: A Mixed-Methods Approach
Authors: Walterbusch, Marc
Thesis advisor: Prof. Dr. Frank Teuteberg
Thesis referee: Prof. Dr. Oliver Thomas
Abstract: Cloud computing is a technology that has gained increasing attention because of its considerable benefits, which include reduced costs, reduced complexity and increased flexibility. To obtain these benefits, cloud computing utilizes existing technologies, such as grid computing, virtualization and web services, for online delivery of scalable information technology (IT) services, frequently on the basis of a pay-per-use pricing model. In 2008, the Gartner Group predicted that cloud computing would reach the mainstream within two to five years. However, in their latest hype cycle for emerging technologies, they stated that cloud computing had not yet reached the plateau of productivity but rather was still in the trough of disillusionment. The reason for this situation may be that cloud computing continues to face skepticism because of various concerns regarding, e.g., data privacy and security. In particular, (enterprise) customers transfer (sensitive) data to cloud computing providers, and the end-user rents the right to use cloud computing services via a web browser with minimal need to interact or even without the necessity of interacting directly with a sales assistant. These two aspects result in a strong unilateral dependency and require a high degree of trust in the provider. Additionally, publicity regarding the PRISM program has brought these aspects to the forefront of public interest. Consequently, specific requirements regarding, e.g., security, privacy, accountability, and auditability, must be met to fulfill the expectations of business partners and to build long-term business relationships. Thus, overcoming information asymmetry, enhancing transparency and eradicating behavioral uncertainty is of high importance to build trust between cloud computing providers and their (prospective) customers. Therefore, although most research to date has focused on technical aspects and aimed to improve the actual security of cloud computing services, there is also an urgent need to understand the factors that affect the adoption of cloud computing services from the points of view of both private users and companies. If cloud computing is to reach its full potential, a clear understanding of the factors that influence its adoption is mandatory to improve both present and future cloud computing services. Motivated by these considerations, the aim of this doctoral thesis is to explore, describe, analyze and explain the factors that influence the adoption of cloud computing using various qualitative and quantitative research methods, i.e., by employing a mixed-methods analysis. As a first step, a serious game is conducted to explore various factors that influence the adoption of cloud computing services. Based on these initial findings, the factors explored during the serious game and some additional factors are described and analyzed in detail. These factors include the cloud computing market, costs, trust, affectedness, shadow IT, and sustainability. Furthermore, the factor of information asymmetry, especially regarding bridging the information asymmetry with various information presentation methods, is explained. Following these findings, a research agenda, which contains a recommended research design and lists the theories that are relevant in the context of the adoption of cloud computing, is proposed. Subsequently, a synthesis of the research findings in terms of their implications for practice and research, including limitations, are discussed.
URL: https://repositorium.ub.uni-osnabrueck.de/handle/urn:nbn:de:gbv:700-2016080114774
Subject Keywords: Cloud Computing; Mixed-Methods Approach; Adoption; Trust; Supply Chain Network; Total Cost of Ownership; Trust; Disruptive Events; Shadow IT; Sustainability; Information Asymmetry; Research Agenda; Exploration; Description & Analysis; Explanation
Issue Date: 1-Aug-2016
Type of publication: Dissertation oder Habilitation [doctoralThesis]
Appears in Collections:FB09 - E-Dissertationen

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