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Cloud Computing Adoption by SMEs in the North East of England: A multi-perspective framework

Lookup NU author(s): Yazn Alshamaila, Professor Savvas PapagiannidisORCiD, Professor Feng Li


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Purpose This paper’s research objective is to contribute to a growing body of research on cloud computing, by studying the SME adoption process. If SMEs have access to scalable technologies they could potentially deliver products and services that in the past only large enterprises could deliver, flattening the competitive arena. Design/methodology/approach By adopting the Technological, Organisational and Environmental (TOE) as a theoretical base, this qualitative exploratory study used semi-structured interviews to collect data in fifteen different SMEs and service providers in the North East of England. The North East of England was selected as it is a region that aspires to become home to innovative digital firms and most of the companies in the region are SMEs. Findings - The main factors that were identified as playing a significant role in SME adoption of cloud services were: relative advantage, uncertainty, geo-restriction, compatibility, trialability, size, top management support, prior experience, innovativeness, industry, market scope, supplier efforts and external computing support. In contrast, this study did not find enough evidence that competitive pressure was a significant determinant of cloud computing adoption. Research limitations/implications These findings have important implications and great value to the research community, managers and ICT providers, in terms of formulating better strategies for cloud computing adoption. For service providers, using the research model in this study can assist in increasing their understanding of why some SMEs choose to adopt cloud computing services, while seemingly similar ones facing similar market conditions do not. Also, cloud computing providers may need to improve their interaction with SMEs who are involved in the cloud computing experience, in an effort to create a healthy environment for cloud computing adoption, and to remove any vagueness surrounding this type of technology. Originality/value This study is an attempt to explore and develop an SME cloud computing adoption model that was theoretically grounded in the TOE framework. By adopting the TOE framework this study has shown that the three contexts of this framework (technological, organisational, and environmental) are connected to each other.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Alshamaila Y, Papagiannidis S, Li F

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Enterprise Information Management

Year: 2013

Volume: 26

Issue: 3

Pages: 250-275

ISSN (print): 1741-0398

ISSN (electronic): 1758-7409

Publisher: Emerald Group Publishing Limited


DOI: 10.1108/17410391311325225


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