Date of Degree

12-2016

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)

Program

Business Administration

Advisor

Vess Johnson

Advisor

Angelina Galvez-Kiser

Advisor

Mark Woodhull

Abstract

During its infancy, the cloud computing industry was the province largely of small and medium-sized business customers. Despite their size, these companies required a professionally run, yet economical information technology (IT) operation. These customers used a total value strategy whereby they avoided paying for essential, yet underutilized, resources (e.g., full-time IT personnel and computing equipment with excess capacity) by outsourcing most, if not all, of their entire IT function. Since that time, the cloud industry has expanded the breadth of its service offerings greatly and the economies of scale have reduced the unit price point. In addition, research suggests other factors are believed to exist that make a decision to execute a wholesale “rip and replace” of legacy systems difficult for today’s IT executives. Accordingly, this study sought to identify factors that affect the decision-making process of IT executives when evaluating conversions of applications to cloud-based solutions. While theories such as diffusion of innovation (DOI) theory, transaction cost theory (TCT), and agency theory influenced this research, motivation theory and the technology, organization, and environment (TOE) framework made the greatest contributions to the foundation of the study. The exploration of personal factors that influence current business intentions to adopt cloud computing services is an important research topic for several reasons. There is an implication of a strong academic and industry interest in the area from the considerable research conducted and published concerning IT strategies related to cloud computing. Most prior research has been limited to the benefits and basic strategies behind cloud computing and related operational and financial considerations. Nuseibeh and Alhayyan’s (2014) recent extensive literature review identified personal factors that contribute to the adoption of cloud computing services as a gap in current research. Prior research has not explored the personal challenges and barriers to broader acceptance of cloud technology. Furthermore, little research has addressed the specific barriers to acceptance or the specific factors considered in the decision-making process. This study found several personal decision factors influence the decisions of IT executives regarding the selection of cloud computing services. Data collected from 189 respondents supported five of the seven hypotheses. These hypotheses state that advancement, recognition and satisfaction from accomplishments, top management support, diminishment of personal image, and pattern of technology readiness have a positive influence on business intentions to adopt cloud computing services. The diminishment of personal image finding in the current study warrants additional research to gain an understanding of its business implications. These results may provide insights into the challenges sales organizations that cloud computing service providers face when attempting to market their offerings. Proposals that include strong, viable provisions for mitigating risks (e.g., assigning an experienced project manager to the migration project, means for ensuring data security, provisions for thorough system and performance testing, etc.) have a greater likelihood of acceptance by IT executives. The constructs in this research also contribute additions to the nomological network (a creation of Cronbach and Meehl [1955]) that may support future research into personal influencers of new technology decisions.