The Transition Towards the Industry Cloud and it's Effect on the Cloud Business Ecosystem

Joakim Keilgaard

Student thesis: Master thesis


This thesis seeks to investigate how major cloud service providers and its underlying ecosystem are responding to the growing demand for industry-specific cloud solutions. Previous research by the author confirmed that the demand for industryspecific solutions is present in contrary to the horizontal and generic service that have been present for the last two decades. This thesis is a continuation of the study and has the core objective of taking one major cloud service providers stance against the market change. This was chosen to be Microsoft due to the firm's presence and large market share in Denmark. Although the thesis is based upon domestic interview partners, the outcome is believed to have generalizable outcome that is applicable to other countries and their IT business domain. A theoretical framework was assembled in the nature of deductive research approach. The core themes applied was business ecosystems, value co-creation and co-opetition. These synergized with the set research question and acted as a foundation for gathering empirical evidence in the form of semi-structured interviews. The selected interview partners were representing the bulk of the Danish cloud domain. The findings revealed how Microsoft and its partners have proposed their answer to what some independent cloud service providers are offering in terms of industry-specific solutions. Instead of assembling their own industry-specific offerings, Microsoft have chosen to rely on their extensive partner network of independent software vendors to provide solutions based on their core cloud platforms such as Azure, Dynamics365 and Office365. It was proven that Microsoft are highly reliant upon their partners to enhance their platforms and add additional value on top of these to meet the given demand for the industry-specific model. A latter part of the findings shed light on what strategic considerations should be made by both the partners and Microsoft as the keystone organization. Due to the client interest in spreading dependencies, and relying on providers, independent software vendors should consider establishing partnerships with more than one major cloud service provider. In an attempt to retain already existing partners Microsoft was as a keystone organization found to consistently provide innovation and support to the independent software vendors that have chosen to utilize their core platforms for their service offering.

EducationsMSc in Business Administration and Information Systems, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2019
Number of pages71
SupervisorsMichael Wessel