Cloud Computing in New Businesses and Enterprises: A Multiple Case Study of How Cloud Computing Adds Value and Transforms Businesses and How These Businesses Address the Benefits and Challenges of Cloud Computing

Mathias Bott Kristensen

Student thesis: Master thesis

Abstract

This master's thesis investigates the adoption of cloud computing in different-sized and different-positioned companies. Data have been gathered from two start-ups (Ourdio and Fishtrip) and one enterprise (WorkBook) and the study explores how benefits and challenges of cloud computing are addressed differently depending on size and position of the company. In addition, the research seeks to understand how cloud computing adds value and transforms the businesses.
The use of cloud computing is not only growing at the individual level with services such as Dropbox and Google Docs. Companies have also started to see benefits of cloud computing and cloud computing market forecasts indicate that the market will grow rapidly the next 10 years. While the benefits of cloud computing might be obvious, many risks and challenges occur, when data resides in a third party location. To understand how these challenges - but also the benefits - are addressed, several semi-structured interviews were conducted with the interview objects from Ourdio, Fishtrip and WorkBook. The interviews not only gave a good insight in the addressing of benefits and challenges, they also provided me with knowledge of how the companies control and steer their cloud provider and furthermore how cloud computing has made it possible to operate on platforms and deliver services instead of products.
The initial analysis of the cloud computing market show that the largest providers of cloud computing services are Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, IBM Cloud Services and Google Cloud. The findings of the analysis of the case-study companies suggests that depending on the size and position of the company, cloud computing is addressed differently. The conclusion is that the two start-ups do not steer or control their cloud provider and they are not concerned about security risks and other challenges of cloud computing. The start-ups are aware of challenges such as vendor lock-in, but weights the benefits of their cloud solution higher than the challenges and focus on attracting customers and growing their business. The benefits - scalability, usage of a professional platform and no-upfront costs - are of great value for the start-ups. The start-ups have adopted a full cloud solution in the public cloud, but the enterprise has only adopted infrastructure as a service. The enterprise sees the risks and challenges as the main reason for not adopting a full cloud solution. The enterprise is in possession of many sensitive data, and has internal processes to steer and control their cloud provider in order to secure that data is handled correct. In a new business, the adoption of cloud computing is crucial to the performance and survival of the company and thus adds great value to the business. In addition, the early access to professional, highly scalable platforms makes it possible for start-ups to technically compete faster than ever with larger and older companies and thus become highly valuable in a short time. In the enterprise, the cloud solution is seen as a great alternative to on-site solutions. Cloud computing has added value and transformed the enterprise' business to offer a service instead of a product.

EducationsMSc in Business Administration and Information Systems, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
LanguageEnglish
Publication date2016
Number of pages88
SupervisorsMogens Kühn Pedersen