The Impact of Software as a Service on IS Authority: A Contingency Perspective

Till Winkler, Christoph Goebel, Alexander Benlian, Francis Bidault, Oliver Günther

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


For some business applications, using Software as a Service (SaaS) is becoming increasingly popular. However, it is largely unknown how SaaS adoption affects the arrangements between business and IT departments. In this study, we take a contingency approach to investigate how firms allocate authority for SaaS applications. Based on semi-structured interviews with business and IT representatives of companies that have adopted the wide-spread SaaS solution Salesforce CRM, we extend existing contingency theory to propose a set of factors for governance arrangements on the application level. These factors are used in a comparative case study of 4 cases of SaaS adoption to explain why application authority is allocated either to the business or the IT side. The results suggest that in most cases there exist dominant and reinforcing contingencies determining a definite mode of SaaS governance.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the International Conference on Information Systems : ICIS 2011
EditorsDennis F. Galletta, Ting-Peng Liang
Number of pages19
Place of PublicationAtlanta, GA
PublisherAssociation for Information Systems. AIS Electronic Library (AISeL)
Publication date2011
ISBN (Print)9780615559070
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes
EventThe 32nd International Conference on Information Systems. ICIS 2011 - Shanghai, China
Duration: 4 Dec 20117 Dec 2011
Conference number: 32


ConferenceThe 32nd International Conference on Information Systems. ICIS 2011
City Shanghai
Internet address

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