Cloud computing ecosystem: Insights from an exploratory study in SaaS and PaaS value networks

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School of Business | Master's thesis
Management Science
Liikkeenjohdon systeemit
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Objectives of the Study: This thesis studies software ecosystem in cloud computing context. It gives additional insight into the characteristics of the cloud ecosystem, and into the roles recognized in the ecosystem, as well as network management. Furthermore, it recognizes benefits that cloud computing vendors gain by establishing an ecosystem, as well as network effects involved in the ecosystem. In this research, SaaS and PaaS delivery models are taken into closer review. The purpose of this research is to gain familiarity with the phenomenon, and acquire new insight into cloud computing ecosystem in order to develop hypotheses, and to formulate more precise research problems for further research. Academic background and methodology: This qualitative research utilizes systematic combining where theoretical framework, empirical fieldwork, and case analysis evolve simultaneously. Moreover, it explores a new field of cloud computing ecosystem through a multiple case study from the software vendor's angle. Data collection is performed via semi-structured interviews among key persons of the case company. Also various Internet sources are utilized to collect data. Because of the abductive approach results are combined with existing theory on the field. Findings and conclusions: The findings reveal that task of building trust and managing customer relationships becomes more important for the partners. They concretize that SaaS delivery side network consists of SIs, Service providers, VAPs, and SaaS app stores. On the other hand, PaaS scenario consists of PaaS providers, ISVs, and the SaaS customer. Cloud computing offers partners possibility to move towards providing high value services, for example, business process consulting instead of basic system configuration. On the other hand, platform providers will need to invest more into marketing to support the ecosystem. Also, software vendors should apply new network management principles in cloud computing ecosystem. Given the nature of exploratory study, the results of this research are not applicable for decision-making as such. However, they can provide significant insight into the context.
Cloud computing, Cloud services, Ecosystem, Software Supply Network, Business Network Management, Software as a Service, Platform as a Service, Network effects, Network externality
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