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  • International Journal of Software Engineering and Its Applications

    Vol. 10, No. 9 (2016), pp. 65-76

    http://dx.doi.org/10.14257/ijseia.2016.10.9.07

    ISSN: 1738-9984 IJSEIA

    Copyright ⓒ 2016 SERSC

    Usage and Technology Acceptance of Cloud Computing in Saudi

    Arabian Universities

    Talal H. Noor

    College of Computer Science and Engineering, Taibah University, Yanbu,

    Medinah 46421-7143, Saudi Arabia

    tnoor@taibahu.edu.sa

    Abstract

    Cloud computing promises many advantages like reduced expenses, on-demand access

    to computing resources and ease of use for both cloud providers and consumers. These

    benefits significantly contributed to the usage and technology acceptance of Cloud

    computing worldwide. In this study, we propose a two-dimensional research model

    namely motivators and inhibitors to examine the usage and the adoption of Cloud

    computing technology in Saudi Arabia. An extensive statistical analysis was conducted

    on data collected from more than 300 participants from 5 different universities in Saudi

    Arabia. Based on the results, we found that the two highest motivators for using Cloud

    computing from the perspective of Saudi Cloud consumers are ubiquitous network access

    and on demand (self-service) while the highest 5 inhibitors are availability, reliability,

    security, compliance, and privacy respectively. This can help decision makers in large

    Saudi Arabian organization in making a better decision regarding the adoption of cloud

    computing.

    Keywords: Cloud computing, technology acceptance, usage, adoption, Saudi Arabia

    1. Introduction

    In the last few years, Cloud computing is considered as a model for providing a variety

    of services called Cloud services. Cloud services with its distributed applications are a

    good investment because the cost of this service is simple and inexpensive for the

    establishment and operation [1-5]. The various benefits of Cloud computing have fueled

    both public and private sectors worldwide to increase the adoption of such technology in

    the last couple of years. Although we have witnessed a rapid adoption of Cloud

    computing in industry, several key challenges such as security, trust, privacy, etc. [1-6]

    remain and they have an effect on the adoption Cloud computing technology.

    Indeed, with Cloud computing adoption, various challenges arise because of several

    reasons. First, Cloud is provisioned at three different levels namely, Infrastructure as a

    Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Software as a Service (SaaS) which

    make it difficult to give end-to-end secure solutions to such services [2]. Second, it is

    hard to measure the service consumer’s willingness to rely on a cloud service provider

    depending on the promised service qualities (i.e., trusting Cloud computing) [4]. Finally,

    maintaining the high availability of Cloud services where consumers can rely on such

    services anytime from anywhere on any device (e.g., the Amazon Web Services (AWS)

    breakdown that actually disadvantaged many business websites [7]).

    This research study reveals the status of Cloud computing adoption in the Middle East

    using tangible evidence from Saudi universities. The analysis of this study gives a holistic

    view of the motivations behind the Cloud computing adoption along with the key

    challenges impacting the Cloud computing adoption in Saudi Arabia which do not

    necessarily match the worldwide perception for Cloud computing adoption. Furthermore,

    the findings of this study also highlight other interesting results such as the usage of

  • International Journal of Software Engineering and Its Applications

    Vol. 10, No. 9 (2016)

    66 Copyright ⓒ 2016 SERSC

    mobile Cloud computing versus Cloud computing services. In a nutshell, the

    contributions of our work are as follows:

    • We propose a two-dimensional research model namely motivators and inhibitors.

    • We identify several factors for the motivators’ dimension including measured

    services, broad network access, self-service, and rapid elasticity.

    • We identify several factors for the inhibitors’ dimension including security, privacy,

    trust, compliance, reliability and availability, service delivery and pricing,

    interoperability and complexity, and vendor lock-in.

    • We collected data from more than 300 participants from 5 different Saudi Arabian

    universities (i.e., including IT students, IT faculty members and employees of IT

    departments).

    • We conducted an extensive statistical analysis of the collected data and presented the

    results.

    The remainder of the article is organized as follows. The related work is discussed in

    Section 2. In Section 3, we overview the cloud computing characteristics, models and

    deployment models. In Section 4, we present the research model including its motivators

    and inhibitors dimensions, questionnaire design, and data collection. In Section 5, we

    present the analysis of our study and discuss the implications of the results. Finally, we

    offer some concluding remarks in Section 6.

    2. Related Work

    In the last decade, several research works explored the significance of the adoption and

    technology acceptance of Cloud computing [8-11]. For example, Lian et al. [8],

    investigated the strict factors that effect on the ruling of adopting Cloud computing

    technology in Taiwan’s hospital industry. They proposed a research model based on

    several dimensions including human, technology, organization, and environment by

    examining multiple factors such as data security, complexity, compatibility, costs, high-

    level manager’s support, government policy, etc. Gupta, et al. [9] focused on elements

    which impact on the decision of adopting Cloud computing in small Singaporean

    businesses. Particularly, they present five factors that can reduce the Cloud usage

    including cost, reliability, convenience, the ease of use, collaboration, sharing and

    security and privacy. Opitz et al. [10] examined the acceptance of Cloud computing

    technology for German information technology departments. They proposed a research

    model based on image, job relevance, perceived usefulness, etc.

    In contrast to above previous works, we check the usage and the acceptance of Cloud

    computing technology in Saudi Arabia via conducting an extensive statistical analysis on

    data collected from more than 300 participants from 5 different Saudi Arabian

    universities. In particular, we propose a two-dimensional research model namely

    motivators and inhibitors. The motivators’ factors include measured services, broad

    network access, self-service, and rapid elasticity. The inhibitors’ factors include security,

    privacy, trust, compliance, reliability and availability, service delivery and pricing,

    interoperability and complexity, and vendor lock-in.

    3. Background

    The Cloud computing represents a model to enable the ubiquitous, comfortable, self-

    service network access in order to make a configurable shared pool for computing

    resources [1-4]. For example, servers, networks, applications, storage, and platforms are

    leased as services. These services can be quickly provided and freed with low

    management potential or service provider interaction. The main components and

  • International Journal of Software Engineering and Its Applications

    Vol. 10, No. 9 (2016)

    Copyright ⓒ 2016 SERSC 67

    characteristics of Cloud computing are minimal cost, agility and location independence,

    high reliability, high scalability, multi-tenancy, sustainability and security. Cloud services

    are given via the major vendors like IBM, Microsoft, Google, Amazon, Apple, etc. The

    business of Cloud computing is growing fast with new Cloud service providers joining

    the Cloud service market. Thus, it is difficult to predict the affection of Cloud computing

    on both society and information technology.

    3.1. Cloud Computing Characteristics

    The following features of Cloud computing can be considered as an adoption factor for

    Cloud computing:

    • Self-service (On-demand): Without human interaction, users can provision Cloud

    computing resources, and this is particularly carried out through a management console.

    • Broad network access: Can be attainable through the client platforms by supporting

    heterogeneous network such as mobile workstations and devices.

    • Resource pooling: Serving many consumers from the same physical device purse

    via firmly separating the present resources at the rational level (i.e., virtualization) [12].

    • Rapid flexibility: Resources are provisioned and freed on request and/or automated

    according to parameters (i.e., elasticity) or triggers. This is to assure that any application

    running on the Cloud service has the required resources that it requires at any period of

    time.

    • Measured services: the resource usage is transparently explored, reported and

    measured based on the utilization (i.e., pay as you go or pay

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