For companies today, the challenge of succeeding in daily competition is becoming increasingly more difficult. The market in numerous industries is oversaturated and dominated by price war. On the other hand cost pressure is growing. Economic and financial crises as well as the influence of global competitors contribute to this, causing efficiency and lean structures to become evermore critical factors to success. Simultaneously, the use of IT is increasing within the corporate environment. IT supports the optimization of processes in different departments and thereby helps make companies more successful. However, it is disregarded or considered as inevitable that the deployed IT itself is an increasing expense factor. A reduction of resources and the associated costs occupied by IT issues would free-up capacities to concentrate on core business activities and thus on departments relevant for overall business success. The corporate landscape in Austria is characterized by very small, small and medium enterprises (SME). This breakdown is also valid for the Upper Austrian economic region. Especially for companies of this size, operating their own IT-infrastructure – primarily necessary to keep up with larger national and international companies and corporate groups – is a major challenge. This is where Cloud Computing comes in. By outsourcing subareas of IT to specialized service providers, new opportunities for companies arise. Flexibility increases by switching from capital expenditure to operational expenditure through so-called “pay-as-you-go” (PAYG) payment method and through the availability of new technological potentials, which previously could not have been reasonably implemented within the constraints of a company’s IT. Despite this, Cloud Computing is a highly polarizing concept. Growing groups of supporters and opponents alike form a controversial view of the corporate adoption of Cloud Computing solutions. Hence the main task of this thesis is to explore which factors influence the diffusion and acceptance of Cloud Computing solutions especially in the segment of Upper Austrian SMEs from a customer’s point of view and how these are assessed in practice. To this end, the terms in the context of Cloud Computing are first defined on the basis of systematic research of existing literature. The second step is the selection of suitable theoretical models on the topic of diffusion and acceptance of technologies and the analysis of those concerning factors of influence which is dealt with. Afterwards a guideline for expert interviews is developed according to the resultant factors. The goal of the interviews is to discover which of the factors have an influence concerning the diffusion and acceptance of new technologies in practice of small and medium enterprises in Upper Austria. Therefor a qualitative data analysis is conducted with the minutes of the interviews. The emerging results are ranked to illustrate the relevance of the different influence factors. Finally, the results and the findings of the thesis are summarized and the necessity for further research is revealed.
|Translated title of the contribution||The Adoption of Cloud Computing in SME|
|Publication status||Published - 2017|