The impact of cloud computing on IT service providers’ business models
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This study’s objective is to understand how cloud computing impacts information technology service providers’ business models. Cloud computing has accelerated business model evolution for delivering information technology services. In transitioning from traditional to cloud-based service provision, some information technology service providers have experienced substantial difficulties in realising effective business models. A comprehensive review of the extant literature reveals that a business model concept is essential for facilitating the effective provision of digital technologies. However, while there has been a growing interest in how organisations can reap the benefits associated with cloud computing, in general, there is a dearth of research contained within the mainstream information systems literature which has used a holistic lens to focus on how cloud computing impacts information technology service providers’ business models. In order to achieve the research objective, the empirical part of this study employed an interpretive multi-method case study research approach comprising several phases. Phase one incorporated fifteen field study interviews. Phase two encompassed a focus group session comprising a total of twenty research participants. Both of these exploratory research phases assisted with the development of several research questions which were subsequently investigated during phase three. This final explanatory research phase incorporated twenty interviews across two business model mature large information technology service provider organisations. The empirical findings in this dissertation lead to the following insights. First, cloud computing has resulted in a significant transformation of information technology service providers’ existing business models. Second, specific inhibitors were identified which negatively impact information technology service providers’ abilities to leverage cloud-enabled business model benefits. Finally, this study is one of the first to provide insights from a cloud supply-side perspective into the distinct coping mechanisms large business model mature information technology service providers are deploying in order to mitigate these inhibitors. Subsequently, this study lays the foundation for making a number of important contributions to both research and practice.
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