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Differential cloud adoption: A comparative case study of large enterprises and SMEs in Germany


  • Surya Karunagaran

    (Indian Institute of Technology Madras)

  • Saji K Mathew

    (Indian Institute of Technology Madras)

  • Franz Lehner

    (University of Passau)


Cloud computing is widely advertised as a technology-based service model and an emerging business model which is highly beneficial for the adopting organizations. But, academic landscape lacks sufficient empirical studies of cloud adoption at firm-level, and the existing cloud adoption factors are mostly anecdotal in nature. A multiple case study approach was used to extract and compare adoption characteristics of SMEs and large firms in Germany, based on the Technology-Organization and Environment (TOE) framework. The study shows that there exist important differences between SMEs and large enterprises regarding the cloud adoption factors. The results further show that large firms perceive characteristics of the cloud to be more complicated and not easy to implement compared to SMEs which contradicts the popular belief that large firms are forerunners in adopting innovations and, the widely publicized cost benefits of cloud services are perceived to be in favor of SMEs.

Suggested Citation

  • Surya Karunagaran & Saji K Mathew & Franz Lehner, 2019. "Differential cloud adoption: A comparative case study of large enterprises and SMEs in Germany," Information Systems Frontiers, Springer, vol. 21(4), pages 861-875, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:infosf:v:21:y:2019:i:4:d:10.1007_s10796-017-9781-z
    DOI: 10.1007/s10796-017-9781-z

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Maria Petrescu, 2012. "Cloud computing and business-to-business networks," International Journal of Business Information Systems, Inderscience Enterprises Ltd, vol. 10(1), pages 93-108.
    2. Paul Downward & Andrew Mearman, 2007. "Retroduction as mixed-methods triangulation in economic research: reorienting economics into social science," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 31(1), pages 77-99, January.
    3. Gary C. Moore & Izak Benbasat, 1991. "Development of an Instrument to Measure the Perceptions of Adopting an Information Technology Innovation," Information Systems Research, INFORMS, vol. 2(3), pages 192-222, September.
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