Critical Success Factors for Small-Medium Businesses to Adopt Cloud Infrastructure as a Service

Sunil Rajan, Pace University


For organization decision-makers, cloud computing appears to be an excellent solution in terms of their IT strategy as they gain access to high level solutions and technology while containing IT-related cost. However, the shift to cloud computing is a disruptive change that IT managers and stakeholders must carefully consider in planning for the transition. Organizations are realizing that the potential of transitioning to the cloud may come at a high price when they fail to factor in preparation time by assessment of their internal network, security concerns, business flows and human aspects. Regardless of cost, transitioning a business to the cloud involves logistical planning and preparation and should not be performed too quickly. Not all businesses are a good fit for cloud solutions so readiness needs to be ascertained. This research aims to help small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) avoid common pitfalls by identifying key factors that require careful assessment before adoption of cloud-based IT solutions. Specific grounded techniques were utilized on formal interviews conducted with selected Cloud Service Providers/Implementers (CSPs) and organizational decision-makers who have implemented cloud solutions, as well as with decision-makers who have not done so due to their belief that it was not the right choice for their business. By using grounded theory technique, this researcher identified a process based on a logical progression, and the key factors for approaching the cloud transition. The key factors were encapsulated using the Technology-Organization-Environment (TOE) framework. Subsequently, a survey on the identified factors was conducted using a Maximum Differential Scaling (maxdiff) model on both CSPs and decision-makers to identify the importance of these factors. Data was analyzed using count analyses and Z-test for proportions to identify the overall importance of each attribute plus the difference of importance to both groups. Cloud computing is not merely a technological shift to outsourced providers or data centers, but represents a fundamental change. Innovative organizations may maximize their business capabilities while reducing financial costs by choosing cloud computing

Subject Area

Information science|Computer science

Recommended Citation

Rajan, Sunil, "Critical Success Factors for Small-Medium Businesses to Adopt Cloud Infrastructure as a Service" (2014). ETD Collection for Pace University. AAI3690545.



Remote User: Click Here to Login (must have Pace University remote login ID and password. Once logged in, click on the View More link above)