Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Exploring vendors' capabilities for cloud service development and delivery
Author: Zhang, Gongtao
ISNI:       0000 0004 7970 9919
Awarding Body: Loughborough University
Current Institution: Loughborough University
Date of Award: 2017
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Access from Institution:
Cloud computing is a service-based model of computing resources provision (Marston et al., 2011; Venters and Whitley, 2012; Willcocks et al., 2014). In the existing literature, a number of studies have identified many valuable findings that influence the adoption of cloud computing. However, the majority of these studies are conducted from clients' perspective or a technical perspective. Successful applications of IT services are influenced by a host of other factors. In particular, factors from vendors' perspective are crucial in the process of IT service delivery, as vendors' capabilities determine service quality and long-term successful clients' engagement (Levina and Ross, 2003; Feeny et al., 2005). Therefore, the area of cloud computing is still emerging, and there are two important gaps in the existing literature. First, the existing literature on cloud computing is incomplete, due to the lack of studies in vendors' perspective. Vendors' perspective in cloud service provision has rarely been explored. Second, the existing literature lacks in-depth and empirical investigation to demonstrate how vendors' capabilities have been developed, deployed and evolved. The resource-based view (Barney, 1991) of the firm and the dynamic capabilities (Teece and Pisano, 1997) are applied as theoretical lens in this study. By conducting two case studies, a number of important IaaS and SaaS vendors' capabilities have been identified. The IaaS vendors' portfolio of capabilities includes cloud platform development, cloud platform deployment, IaaS imitation, IaaS commercialisation, and IaaS improvement. By contrast, the SaaS vendors' portfolio of capabilities include adaption to cloud computing context, SaaS imitation, SaaS commercialisation and SaaS improvement. This thesis contributes to cloud computing literature in two ways. First, the thesis extends the understanding of cloud computing to more fully reflect the novelty of the technology. The novelty of the cloud computing technology lies in the provision of large-scale datacentres, and therefore enables a completely new technological context with new data structure, new data storage system, new file system and new programming model (Ghemawat et al., 2003; Dean et al., 2004; Chang et al., 2006). Second, the study has presented new evidence to identify a number of important vendors' capabilities for cloud service development and delivery. The thesis sheds light on how vendors become able to exploit cloud computing technology, which is a more appropriate starting point for explaining how value is created in sourced relationships. It also has delivered a convincing response to the skepticism about how different vendors develop and deliver their cloud services. This thesis also contributes to the dynamic capabilities literature in several ways. First, it extends the understanding on dynamic capabilities to include a functional dimension. Therefore, the scope of the dynamic capabilities literature has been extended. Second, the study extends our understanding on the development and evolution of dynamic capabilities to include cloud computing industry, where the contrast between clients' changing needs and regularly updated technical landscape is more dramatic. Third, the thesis highlights the dynamics of change behind dynamic imitation and improvement capabilities. The study shows that market leaders' regular technical updates and clients' ever changing needs are the dynamics which cause market changes.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Loughborough University
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Business and Management not elsewhere classified ; Cloud computing ; Vendors' capabilities ; Cloud services ; Development and delivery ; Case studies