Business Impacts of Cloud Computing

Business Impacts of Cloud Computing

Cameron Deed (Yellowfin, Australia) and Paul Cragg (University of Canterbury, New Zealand)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-2187-9.ch015
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While many articles have discussed likely benefits of cloud computing, there have been relatively few empirical reports of the impacts of cloud computing. This study explores the business impacts associated with the adoption of a cloud-based business intelligence application. A generic benefits management framework was adopted to guide the study of five firms. Numerous types of benefit were identified, including strategic, managerial, operational, and functional and support. The results supported the literature in that managerial impacts were strongly correlated with business intelligence functionality. Additionally, operational and functional and support benefits were mainly positive, with some due to the cloud nature of the service.
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Cloud computing is a new term for a relatively long-held vision of using computing as a utility (Armbrust, et al., 2009). In recent times, cloud computing has been of high interest in the information systems (IS) literature and is perceived as a potentially significant new movement in IS. Although there is no common definition of cloud computing, Armbrust et al (2009) provide a relatively recent definition of cloud computing as:

“The applications delivered as services over the Internet and the hardware and systems software in the data centers that provide those services. The services themselves have long been referred to as Software as a Service (SaaS). The data center hardware and software is what we will call the cloud” (Armbrust, et al., 2009, p. 1).

The main reason behind the difficulties in defining cloud computing is that the descriptions encompass many pre-existing categories of IT service, of which the most relevant to cloud computing is software-as-a-service (Clarke, 2010).

Some of the cloud computing literature focuses on infrastructure. Generally, hardware and software services are stored on the provider’s web servers and accessed through the internet (Aymerich, et al., 2008). The IS literature recognizes that it is unlikely that all businesses will outsource all of their computing requirements to a cloud services provider. Instead, they will set up heterogeneous computing environments which may include more than one public cloud provider (Greenwood, et al., 2010). This means organizations may have a hybrid type infrastructure, including in-house technologies and outsourced technologies and services.

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