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  • Cloud Computing Adoption in SMEs: A Literature Review

    ISBN: 978-81-924713-8-9

    Pragati Priyadarshinee M. K. Jha

    Rakesh Raut National Institute of Industrial Engineering (NITIE)

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    This paper presents a detailed literature review with descriptive classification for Cloud Computing research. This includes 296 referred journal articles published between 2010 and 2014. The articles are classified into 4 main categories: Technology Adoption, SMEs, Risk Analysis, and conceptualizing Cloud Computing. The critical findings show that the research area of Risk Analysis in adoption of Cloud Computing in Small and Medium scale Enterprises needs more attention. This review provides a reference to guide future research and facilitate knowledge accumulation and creation concerning the adoption of Cloud Computing in Indian Small and Medium scale Enterprises.

    1. Introduction

    Cloud computing has become a universal topic in recent years. Due to size, resources, IT expertise and other constraints Cloud Computing could be of specific advantage to SMEs. However, migrating internal Information Technology data and applications to the cloud is associated with a wide range of risks and challenges [1]. Security, confidentiality, auditability, regulatory compliance and a host of other risks must be verified before adopting any new technology. Migrating data, applications or services to the cloud exposes a business to a number of new threats and vulnerabilities, which need to be properly assessed. The migration of data and applications to cloud may also have some compatibility problems [2]. In addition, SME increases a number of issues: Protection of Critical Infrastructures; Information Assurance and Trusted Computing; Privacy and Freedom of Information; and Laws and Regulation of IT Security. Hardware, software, operations, help desk, and back up are conducted by cloud vendors. Also software as a service, software development and platform control are managed by the vendors [3]. Addressing these issue can develop a way forward for more and more SMEs to adopt Cloud computing. Current market is characterized as being very competitive. Therefore, for companies who want to survive, it is essential to adopt innovations. As it has been mentioned previously, one of the most state-of-the-art technologies that assist companies gain competitive advantage is Cloud Computing. It allows companies to access the most advanced technologies over a network (e.g. Internet). If companies switch to Cloud Computing, they can save time, energy and money. These resources can then be spent in other value-adding areas of their business. It makes companies more efficient and productive which is particularly true for SMEs. If several companies switch to Cloud Computing the payback for companies and the economy is much higher. In that case Cloud Computing brings efficiency to the economy and environment. Cloud providers are specialized in offering IT services; therefore they can accomplish IT related tasks more quickly and by spending fewer resources [4]. Moreover, offering any service in large scale brings in economies of scale which results in more efficient operations. Economies consisting of more efficient and innovative companies are certainly better than those which are comprised of inefficient companies. Widespread usage of Cloud computing will reduce the number of data centers; because individual companies do not need to have their own data centers. Data centers that are operating by cloud providers consume resources in a more efficient manner than small data centers. Cloud Computing is based on virtualization, which results in consumption of less power. It is one way to achieve environmental sustainability. It also saves energy cost for the company. It is an exhaustive review of Cloud Computing Adoption in SMEs published in academic journals in the period of 2010 to 2014. The main outlines of the paper consists of review process of the literature, the classification criteria of Cloud Computing adoption articles in SMEs , Cloud Computing adoption in SMEs are analyzed and the outcomes of the review, conclusion, and research gaps .We have developed a classification framework for this literature review process.

    2. Review Process As the related matters are covered in different research papers, Adoption of Cloud Computing in SMEs is very hard to restrict to a particular direction. Technology adoption is the general academic subject for researcher in Cloud Computing. The online databases searched for the Cloud Computing Adoption are: 1) Science Direct 2) EBSCO Open Access Journals 3) ACM Digital Library. 4) Emerald Management. 5) IEEE Electronic Library. 6) Pro Quest Science Journals.

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    There are some other famous areas in IT like Adoption of Technology. But, we found lots of Research work has been done and still going on in this area considering TOE/TAM Model. As per the Survey in EBSCO combining all three (Adoption+ Cloud Computing + SMEs), the total number of academic journals published are 462 where as in current area (RM +Cloud Computing + SMEs), the total number of academic journals till date is only 291.So, its clear from this Literature Review that a lot of study still required in the field of Risk Associated for Adoption of Cloud Computing in SMEs.

    3. Classification Method The papers were reviewed and classified with three ways of combination. The classification method consisted of four phases: (1) Database search through internet, (2) Basic grouping through Cloud Computing Adoption, (3) Analyzing the grouping outcomes through Risk Analysis in Cloud adoption in SMEs, and (4) Final verification of critical findings through the consistent result from the previous three ways. 3.1 Classification Process The Classification of articles is filtered on different combined level of Risk Management, Cloud Computing, Technology adoption and SMEs. 1) Cloud Computing (CC) 2) Adoption of Cloud Computing (ACC) 3) Adoption of Cloud Computing in SMEs (ACC + SME) 4) Risk Analysis in Adoption of Cloud Computing in SMEs (RA+ACC+SME)

    Figure 1 Overall Filtration of Research Papers

    Fig.1 shows the overall filtration of research papers from the six online databases. Among the four combinations of academic Journals, in Cloud computing (55 out of 296 articles, 43%) usually the concept of technology adoption is used to support. There were 37 Journals in technology adoption covering various aspects of Cloud Computing. Cloud Computing and Technology Adoption also rank first (55 articles, 43%), and second (37 articles, 29%) respectively with respect of subject matter in the area of adoption of Cloud Computing in SMEs. It was observed that very few research papers covering Cloud Computing adoption in SMEs (21 articles, 16%) and risk analysis in adoption of cloud computing in SMEs (16 articles, 12%). With respect to technology adoption, 12% (16 from 55 academic journals) gave risk models to support the adoption of Cloud Computing in SMEs. 3.2 Classification Framework This is a comprehensive classification process. If there was an inconsistency in categorization of these academic journals, then it was discussed how the journals should be grouped as given in the grouping framework. The final paper selection process and grouping framework is given in Fig. 2. The grouped journals were verified with respect of Cloud computing adoption in SMEs and risk analysis. The journals were categorized based on the year of publication and the online database in which the paper was present. Initially the journals were searched from online Database based on two search criteria.

    1. Cloud Computing Adoption 2. Papers published between 2010 to 2014

    Only research articles related to Cloud computing adoption were taken into consideration in the first phase. Then articles related to Risk associated with Cloud computing adoption in SMEs were taken in the next step. The final classification outcome of journals is obtained from the previous three ways of classification of research articles. Fig. 2 explains the papers searched from the online database which gives the reputed journal articles. If research articles were related to Cloud computing adoption, then only it is included otherwise excluded from the next step. This type of most relevant Cloud computing adoption articles published between 2010 to 2014 were 296 in number. Again these 296 research papers were refined to our current research area of adoption of Cloud computing in SMEs and risk associated with it. The numbers of core academic journals sorted out were 55 in number and remaining 241 research papers were excluded in the

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    next step of classification. Finally the consistent classified results of academic journals were considered for our study of literature.

    Figure 2 Selection Criteria Framework

    4. Classification of Journals

    The findings of Cloud computing discussed by different authors in several research articles are given as follows. A better understanding could be there for the design challenges of Cloud computing and identifying important research directions in increasingly important area[5].The current developments could be in relation to Cloud computing and it might hold promises for solving some of the pressing needs of construction IT[6].The study criticized that when the cloud vendor faces intense competition, the cost-center organizational model preferred over the profit-center model[7].A clear linkage among Cloud computing areas, threats within the areas


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