Determinants of switching intention to cloud computing in large enterprises

Publication Date08 October 2019
Date08 October 2019
AuthorYu-Wei Chang,Ping-Yu Hsu,Shih-Hsiang Huang,Jiahe Chen
SubjectLibrary & information science,Librarianship/library management,Library technology,Information behaviour & retrieval,Information & knowledge management,Information & communications technology,Internet
Determinants of switching
intention to cloud computing in
large enterprises
Yu-Wei Chang
Department of Business Management,
National Taichung University of Science and Technology, Taichung, Taiwan
Ping-Yu Hsu
Department of Business Administration,
National Central University, Taoyuan, Taiwan
Shih-Hsiang Huang
National Central University, Taoyuan, Taiwan, and
Jiahe Chen
Department of Computer Science,
Hong Kong Baptist University, Kowloon, Hong Kong
Purpose The purpose of this paper is to investigate switching intention from traditional enterprise
information systems (EISs) to private cloud EIS in large enterprises. The authors propose that the
factors motivate and inhibit enterprisesswitching intention to private EIS by integrating technology
organizationenvironment (TOE) framework and two-factor theory.
Design/methodology/approach A research model draws from TOE framework and two-factor
theory. Data were collected from 227 top managers and owners of the enterprises in China and used to analyze
11 hypotheses.
Findings The results show that the technological context (compatibility), organizational context (financial
support) and environmental context (vendor support and industry pressure) significantly influence switching
benefits while data security and costs significantly influence switching costs. Switching benefits and
switching costs significantly influence switching intention.
Originality/value Past studies have focused mainly on the adoption of cloud computing. However, few
studies have addressed the switching issues, especially in large enterprises. The findings are useful to
understand switching issues from traditional EIS to private cloud EIS for both researchers and practitioners.
Keywords Cloud computing, Switching intention, Large enterprises, Two-factor theory,
Enterprise information systems, Technologyorganizationenvironment framework
Paper type Research paper
1. Introduction
In global business environments, cloud computing has recently become a popular form
of information technology (IT). Enterprises are increasingly using cloud technologies to
improve their business operations and competitive advantages (Low et al., 2011). The
International Data Corporation (IDC) reported that total cloud IT infrastructure spending
grew from $26.4bn in 2014 to $32bn in 2015 (Mass, 2015). According to a report by Global
Industry Analysts, the cloud services market will reach $127bn by 2017. IDC also forested
that the cloud software market will rapidly grow from $39.3bn in 2013 to $100bn in 2018
(Mahowald and McGrath, 2014).
Cloud computing can be further classified into private and public clouds. In private
clouds, enterprises access resources and services via internal networks; they must have
their own IT infrastructures and IT staff to manage their services and resources. In public
clouds, enterprises pay only for the utilized services provided by external providers and
Data Technologies and
Vol. 54 No. 1, 2020
pp. 16-33
© Emerald PublishingLimited
DOI 10.1108/DTA-12-2018-0104
Received 11 December 2018
Revised 12 August 2019
Accepted 11 September 2019
The current issue and full text archive of this journal is available on Emerald Insight at:
access the cloud services over the internet. Thus, enterprises save costs in terms of
hardware, software and IT staff. Although the model of public clouds is cheaper than that of
private clouds, most enterprises prefer using private clouds because of data security and
management (Gaudin, 2014).
Most enterprises have their own enterprise information systems (EISs), such as
enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, to manage sensitive data. When enterprises
move from traditional EISs to cloud EISs, they still hope to maintain ownership of their
information. In China, large enterprises are increasingly moving to private cloud
technologies. According to the cloud computing survey, 40 percent of Chinese enterprises
use private clouds, 36 percent use both private and public clouds and only 13 percent use
public clouds. Thus, the adoption of private clouds is moving faster than that of public
clouds (Alter, 2010; Mahowald and McGrath, 2014).
Past studies have focused mainly on the adoption of cloud computing (Alshamaila et al.,
2013; Lin and Chen, 2012; Low et al., 2011; Oliveira et al., 2014). Since most existing
enterprises have currently implemented client/server EISs, it is important to gain an
understanding of switching behavior rather than adoption. However, a few studies on cloud
computing have addressed the switching issues (Chang and Hsu, 2019; Hachicha and
Mezghani, 2018; Park and Ryoo, 2013). In the above-mentioned studies, their studied
systems are public clouds but not private clouds. To the best of our knowledge, no prior
work has investigated factors that affect switching intention to private clouds.
To fill the gap, the purpose of this study is to investigate switching intention from
traditional EISs to private cloud EISs in large enterprises. Specifically, we address the
following two questions: what factors enable enterprisesswitching intention? What factors
inhibit enterprisesswitching intention?
This study uses two-factor theory to investigate enablers and inhibitors of switching
intention to cloud EISs. Two-factor theory proposes enablers (motivators) and inhibitors
(de-motivators)affecting user jobsatisfaction (Herzberget al., 2011). Since then, thistheory has
been appliedto investigate two categoriesof factors affecting systemadoption (Liu et al., 2011;
Islam, 2014; Lee et al., 2009) and characterized enablers and inhibitors as switching benefits
and switching costs (Cenfetelli and Schwarz, 2011; Park and Ryoo, 2013).
The factors affecting enablers are further organized with technologyorganization
environment (TOE) framework (Tornatzky and Fleisher, 1990). TOE framework has been
widely applied to investigate the factors that drive enterprises to adopt cloud computing
(Gangwar et al., 2015; Lian et al., 2014; Low et al., 2011; Oliveira et al., 2014). On the other
hand, the factors that affect inhibitors are data security, costs and satisfaction with
incumbent systems. Security issues are the major concerns of cloud EIS; the implementation
of private cloud EISs could be very costly; and satisfaction with incumbent systems are
known hinder of new information systems from expectation confirmation theory.
This study is the first to attempt to investigate the factors that motivate and inhibit
enterprisesswitching intention to private cloud EISs. Additionally, this study is the first to
integrate two-factor theory and TOE framework to address the switching issues. Although
TOE framework has been widely applied to investigate the adoption and diffusion of new
IS, two-factor theory is far less popular, likely because few IS studies have investigated
switching intention. Therefore, the result of this study should be interesting to both
academic and business societies.
The organization of this paper is as follows: the next section reviews cloud computing,
two-factor theory and TOE framework. Section 3 describes the developed research model
and the hypotheses. Sections 4 and 5 describe our research methodology and the results of
the analyses. Section 6 discusses the research findings, and Section 7 proposes the academic
and practical implications. The final section concludes the contributions and limitations of
this study.
of switching

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