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Cloud computing in Australian organisations : acceptance and evolution of uptake between 2012 and 2013

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Aljabr, AAA (2015) Cloud computing in Australian organisations : acceptance and evolution of uptake between 2012 and 2013. PhD thesis, University of Tasmania.

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Abstract

The dream that Computing could become a fifth utility (in addition to Water, Gas, Electricity and Telephony) has been addressed by means of a variety of computing paradigms, including Grid Computing and Utility Computing and, most recently, Cloud Computing (CC). This phenomenon is defined in a number of ways, but the most comprehensive and widely-accepted definition was produced by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), which identifies CC as: “a pay-per-use model for enabling available, convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources (e.g., networks, servers, storage, applications, services) that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction”.
CC has rapidly developed and grown in popularity since 2007, to become a very fashionable topic. It has had a significant impact on the IT industry over the past 7 years causing fundamental changes to the way in which IT resources are utilised and has led to the creation of a wide variety of new business models, while garnering interest from both public and private sectors in Australia and in other countries.
According to industrial surveys conducted between 2010 and 2013, Australian organisations have been leaders in the adoption of CC in the Asia-Pacific region. Full access to the findings of these surveys is very expensive, although summary results can be found in IT industry literature. The figures for CC adoption in Australia vary across a number of these surveys, making it difficult to ascertain the level of CC uptake with any confidence – thereby suggesting a need for a soundly-based academic investigation of Australian CC adoption. In addition, none of these industry surveys makes use of any theoretical underpinning or of any models of CC, adding further to the demand for a sound, theoretically-based and unbiased study of the acceptance and use of the CC innovation, as well as its evolution within and across Australian organisations. Moreover, knowledge of the nature and progress of this innovation would add to the understanding of both its opportunities, as well as of the challenges and issues surrounding CC. While widespread adoption of CC seems to be a foregone conclusion, its diffusion rate and adoption methods by the wide variety of organisations around the globe which are looking to CC for solutions to a host of problems are not yet fully understood. This research project, therefore, aims to build a broad picture of the existing state of CC in Australian organisations by investigating the nature, role and diffusion of CC innovation and the changes which have occurred over time.
The project takes the form of a longitudinal study, composed of two ‘snapshots’ of Australia’s CC usage and using an online questionnaire in each of 2012 and 2013 (i.e. 16 months apart) based on the extant academic and industry literature. The target group for both surveys was the CIO’s of Australian organisations or their equivalents (i.e. IT Manager, Technical Support Manager and Network Manager) as these respondents were expected to be most capable of providing accurate responses and conversant of the current status of CC adoption in their organisations.
This study classified respondents into categories according to their status and attitude to adopting CC (past, current, future and non-adopters). Respondents were then analysed on the basis of company location, size and industry sector to enable a richer understanding of the decision to adopt (or not to adopt) CC. Changes over time were then analysed on two dimensions: firstly within each category of respondents and then within each survey to enable a fuller understanding of how CC adoption was progressing over time. The findings were also compared against Rogers’ Diffusion of Innovation Theory and Moore’s Crossing the Chasm Theory, which provided an opportunity to compare the diffusion of the CC innovation in Australia against archetypal diffusion theory. These theories highlighted the acceptance (adoption or rejection) and the use of the CC innovation, as well as its evolution across and within Australian organisations.
This study observed a smooth transition between the Early and Late Majority stages of CC adoption in Australia. Over the 16 month period of the study, there was 10% growth in CC adoption to the end of 2013: from 47.9% to 57.9%. Findings suggest that CC uptake will continue to grow as indicated by the Future Adopters who formed 15.2% of the respondents in 2013. Although the adoption pattern of CC in Australia is following the classic Diffusion of Innovation Theory, adoption will never reach 100%, not just because of resistors (Definite Non-Adopters) but also due to those organisations which adopted CC but later rejected it (Past Adopters). In Future Work, a number of additional projects are suggested to complement this study and extend its reach.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: Cloud computing, Australian organisations, information technology, adoption, evolution, diffusion of innovation
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2015 the author

Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2016 02:05
Last Modified: 17 May 2017 23:31
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