Managing the Cloud for Information System Agility in Organizations

Managing the Cloud for Information System Agility in Organizations

DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-7826-0.ch006


In 2007, cloud computing was introduced to the IT dictionary. The theme is attracting growing interest from both the IT world and the business players who need to enhance information systems agility, reduced costs, or reduce dependence on internal IT teams when they are judged too slow. However, the fact that cloud computing, as presented by providers, increases the agility is unclear. Business managers, IT professional, and academics are querying the relationship between cloud computing and IT agility. This chapter aims to understand cloud computing's role in improving IT agility by introducing recent studies in the IS and IT management literature. This chapter argues that cloud computing impact IS performance by organizational capabilities (agility). The authors also propose a conceptual framework to improve IS agility by cloud computing based on DevOps. One of the primary motivations of this research is the lack of fieldwork when considering how cloud computing improves information systems agility.
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Since 2007, the year that the two leaders in cloud computing IBM and Google have invested in the construction of large data centers that can be used by students over the Internet to remotely program and research, known as cloud computing (Lohr, 2007). The cloud infrastructure was also recognized as a cost-effective model for delivering information services, reducing IT management complexity, promoting innovation and improving real-time responsiveness. For many organizations (Buxmann, Diefenbach, & Hess, 2015) and countries (Changchit & Chuchuen, 2018), cloud infrastructure has served as a platform for developing innovation and a highly qualified human resource capacity. In 2011, the US federal government estimated that 20 billion dollars of the IT investment budget, which is 80 billion dollars, would be a potential target for cloud computing solutions migration (Metheny, 2013).

Cloud Computing has had a major impact on information technology (IT) during recent decades as leading companies such as Google, Amazon and Microsoft have focused on providing more efficient, secure and cost-effective cloud platforms for organizations that are trying to redefine their business models using the concept. Cloud Computing is one of the major technologies that has revolutionized the world of computing. The IT service delivery model provides significant benefits. This enables today's organizations to adapt proactively their IT infrastructure to faced rapidly changing environment and business requirements. Importantly, it significantly reduces the complexity of IT management, enabling more use of IT. Cloud-based services offer also interesting reuse opportunities and design challenges for application developers and platform providers. Cloud Computing has therefore generated a lot of enthusiasm among technologists and researchers in general.

For many organizations, cloud computing can be a driving factor of change, enabling them to make optimal use of information and communication technologies without investing massively at the outset and avoiding the risks of getting stuck with obsolete technologies. With cloud computing, providers can provide an information and communication technology infrastructure as a service to end customers (Fernando, Loke, & Rahayu, 2013; K. H. Kim, Beloglazov, & Buyya, 2009). By using cloud computing, organizations can reduce the cost of information and communications technology acquisition and maintenance, attracting new customers, increasing revenue, preserving profitability, and improving agility (Goyal & Dadizadeh, 2009; Sean Marston, Li, Bandyopadhyay, Zhang, & Ghalsasi, 2011). Companies that have made lower investments in information and communications technology infrastructure are more apt to adopt and use cloud computing (Bhat, 2013). Large enterprises are increasingly adopting cloud computing (Gupta et al., 2013; Li et al., 2011).

In 2017, the situation changed radically. Forty-eight companies of the fifteen “Fortune Global 50” (Brinda & Heric, 2017) companies have publicly announced their cloud adoption plans. Today, cloud computing is increasingly becoming the leading technology to do business for the next generation. The agility of the cloud enables enterprises accelerate time to the marketplace by reaching various parts of the development chain. Due to promises of information technology (IT) efficiency and business agility, they are integrating cloud computing into their IT strategies (John, Morrison, & Fox, 2018). Cloud computing is a combination of two key IT tendencies: IT efficiency, where IT performance is used more efficiently, and business agility, where information technology is a competitive tool through rapid deployment, batch parallelism and business intensive analytics (Avram, 2014).

Cloud computing infrastructures can improve the efficiency with which companies can use their investments in information technologies through the unification of separate systems and automation of the management of the group of systems as a unified entity. A cloud infrastructure can be a cost-effective model for delivering information services, reducing IT management complexity, promoting innovation and increasing responsiveness through real-time.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Cloud Computing: A model that provides ubiquitous, convenient and on-demand access to a shared network and a set of configurable IT resources (such as networks, servers, storage, applications, and services) that can be provisioned and released with minimal administration.

IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service): Provides you with IT infrastructure, virtual or physical machines (quite often) and other resources such as file servers, data storage, firewalls, load balancers, IP addresses, virtual local area networks, etc.

SaaS (Software as a service): Provides an access to the software application often referred to as on-demand software. You don't have to worry about the installation, configuration and operation of the application. The service provider will do it for you. You just have to pay (usually a monthly subscription depending on the number of workstations) and use it through your client interface (desktop or laptop, tablet).

PaaS (Platform as a Service): Provides you with computer platforms that generally include the operating system, programming the language execution environment, database, web server, etc.

Diffusion of Innovations Theory (DOI): A model organization’s adoption of a technology depends on the characteristics of that technology defined by five attributes: relative advantage, compatibility, complexity, observability, and trialability.

Technology Organization Environment (TOE): Identify technology characteristics, organizational readiness of the company and environmental conditions as key factors in technology adoption.

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