Criteria Affecting the Choice of Cloud Service Provider : An Exploratory Study of the Process of Choosing a Cloud Service Provider
Abstract: Cloud services can be seen as modern IT outsourcing and have become a popular technological solution for companies to create and maintain a competitive advantage. The number of cloud service providers (CSPs) is continuously growing in a highly competitive market. The process of choosing a CSP is a complex, costly, and time-consuming task where a resource-based view (RBV) has been previously used to aid the potential customer in the decision. Previous research points towards an up-to-date understanding of the underlying factors in the decision are sought after. This research aims to explore the decision process of choosing a CSP in order to discover influencing factors of the decision to create a decision model for potential customers to ease the decision process. By using an exploratory study and through interviews, the factors which influence the decision of a CSP from a potential customer’s perspective were identified. The findings point towards six main factors influencing the decisions of CSP. The result supports earlier research that the decision of choosing a CSP is a complex process with several influencing factors. Therefore, RBV is not sufficient to analyze all these factors and needs to be supported by other theories to cover all the aspects of the decision. The identified factors were used to create a decision model which will help customers by easing the process of choosing a CSP and decrease the time and resources of the process. The recommendation for further research is to investigate the relevance of these factors at different cycles of a company and also to further investigate each factor to expand and improve the decision model.
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