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The contribution of cloud computing to SMEs competitive advantage: A resource-based view
Jönköping University, Jönköping International Business School, JIBS, Business Informatics.
Jönköping University, Jönköping International Business School. (befr1111@student.hj.se)
2012 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The phenomenon analysed within this thesis is the uprising of cloud computing technologies and their potential impact on SMEs. Cloud computing is ought to enable new capabilities for SMEs by the key benefits of being less expensive and its ubiquitous accessibility. The research was constituted on the theoretical framework of the resource based view and was conducted via semi-structured interviews along the themes of application history, financial impact, structural impact, strategic impact, risk considerations and future outlook. Thereby, the core research question was to understand the impact of cloud computing technologies as new resources on the competitive advantage of SMEs. Therefore, 183 SMEs were contacted via email, which were selected from a commerce authority and an internet inquiry from which 6 agreed to an interview. The interview outcomes were analysed by coding and an interpretation of the qualitative findings. Significant outcomes were that cloud computing provides SMEs capabilities of collaboration and mobility. The impact on innovation could not be verified but was indicated. Moreover, the adaption of cloud computing has led to SMEs saving resources in terms of time, IT budget and specific IT knowledge. The provision of the new capabilities and the savings of resources have shown to improve the SMEs’ overall performance by complementing, supplementing and substituting existing resources. Nevertheless, no direct linkage could be identified to a contribution to a competitive advantage but suggestive indirect linkages were found. However, the findings might deliver new comprehension about the organizational impact of cloud computing on SMEs in terms of resource enhancement and their impact on business practices. Furthermore, implications for future research include the need for investigation of the internal charging of cloud services and particular to narrow down the key advantages of cloud computing for SMEs and raise their business awareness as a source of competitive advantage.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. , 61 p.
Keyword [en]
cloud computing, resource-based view, competitive advantage, SME
National Category
Business Administration Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-19334OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hj-19334DiVA: diva2:549224
Subject / course
IHH, Informatics
Presentation
2012-06-13, Jibs, Jönköping, 19:22 (English)
Uppsok
Social and Behavioural Science, Law
Supervisors
Examiners
Note

This paper has been a collective effort between Sten Ekström Winroth and Franco Bettels, the thesis has though been written in collaborative between the Management and Informatics department at Jönköping International Business School. These two departments have different requirements of the thesis writing process, which entails that we the authors have had different requirements. This is the reason that two theses exist with the same name, these two theses differ in the details, but are overall the same. 

Available from: 2013-01-03 Created: 2012-09-03 Last updated: 2013-03-08Bibliographically approved

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