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  • (IJACSA) International Journal of Advanced Computer Science and Applications,

    Vol. 9, No. 4, 2018

    121 | P a g e


    Factors Influencing Cloud Computing Adoption in

    Saudi Arabias Private and Public Organizations: A

    Qualitative Evaluation

    Mohammed Ateeq Alanezi

    College of Computing and Information Technology

    Shaqra University, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

    AbstractCloud Computing is becoming an important tool

    for improving productivity, efficiency and cost reduction. Hence,

    the advantages and potential benefits of cloud computing are no

    longer possible to be ignored by organizations. However,

    organizations must evaluate factors that influence their decisions

    before deciding to adopt cloud computing technologies. Many

    studies have investigated cloud computing adoption in developed

    countries compared with few studies that have concentrated on

    examining the factors that influence cloud computing adoption in

    developing countries. It is not clear to see whether these factors

    that have been identified by these studies, can be applied in

    developing countries. The motive of this study is to contribute to

    the adoption of cloud computing, and to elevate the consciousness

    of cloud computing technology amongst authorities, researchers,

    administrators, business enterprise managers and service

    carriers, particularly within the Saudi Arabian context. This

    study explores factors that encourage the implementation of

    cloud or have the capacity to detract from adopting cloud

    computing in private and public organizations in Saudi Arabia.

    A qualitative approach through IT professional representatives

    interviews was adopted in this study, which explored two

    categories, namely, a) the negative impact category which

    includes: security and privacy, government policy, lack of

    knowledge, and Loss of control; and b) the positive impact

    category which includes three factors: reduce expenses, improve

    IT performance, and promote scalability and flexibility.

    KeywordsCloud computing; private and public organization

    adoption; qualitative evaluation; Saudi Arabia


    Organizations are, nowadays, changing their strategy in IT towards the adoption of cloud computing. The strategy is mainly connected with technological innovation, its flexibility in implementation and growth in economy. Hence it is not possible anymore for organizations to ignore the advantages of cloud computing [1]. Various areas such as businesses, institutions and government are attracted to cloud computing [2]. Cloud computing offers a shift from the current installed software in the personal computers to the cloud-based servers which can be accessed from anywhere at any time. In addition, cloud computing provides an on-demand provisioning of resources and scalability [3]. Various advantages such as business process transformation, real world applications delivery, lower expenditures in infrastructure, and mobilization are more likely to achieve higher efficiency in business strategy [4].

    Cloud computing is attached to the scope of e-service as a potential means in order to serve the public and private sectors with more services [5]. It is a method of green technology that has a potential to improve utilization of the current resources in the data centre and lower their consumption. Energy savings in computing and storage service can be offered by the cloud computing through the use of large shared servers and storage units [6]-[8]. In order to realize these benefits, more information, development and promotion is needed to encourage the adoption [9]. The economic slump that hit recent years in IT has increased the interest of cloud services adoption, which can be used to reduce the costs [10]. There is a very limited number of theoretical studies that identified and evaluated the factors that impact the implementation of cloud computing. Most of the published work so far is white papers, newsletters and policy statements lacking academic methodology and analysis [3]. Most of these studies, which are empirical in nature, have focused only on the advantages and the associated risks of cloud computing [9]. A few studies have been found in the context of developing countries including Saudi Arabia [11]-[13]. Most of these studies have taken a well-established theory (such as Technology-Organization Environment framework (TOE), Diffusion of Innovation (DOl), and Technology Acceptance Model (TAM)) and collected data from a developing country in order to test if the theory or the model was applicable in that context. They failed to focus on the contextual details and the specific factors that are affecting the implementation of cloud computing in the local context. Thus, the main goal of this study is to identify the factors which influence the implementation of cloud computing in private and public organizations in Saudi Arabia.


    Whenever the development takes place on a structural societal change in a place where various diverse social, and economic changes play a major role, it can be predicted that information and communication technology development is a very important factor [14]. Accessing the computing resources or developing robust IT infrastructure is a very difficult approach in developing countries. However, the new computer paradigms, such as cloud computing, had provided access to various resources that are available remotely or have been in any other case inaccessible. The evolution of cloud computing will change facing of this, which includes small and large-scale businesses, entrepreneurs, researchers and government systems [15]. However, it is not yet clear how the implication of cloud

  • (IJACSA) International Journal of Advanced Computer Science and Applications,

    Vol. 9, No. 4, 2018

    122 | P a g e


    computing in public and private sectors will be handled. Still it can be predicted that information and communication technology have the potential to access the information that was not possible few years back. All the public and the private enterprises are trying to use the cloud-based services which is becoming increasingly important. As stated in [16], the concept of cloud computing is becoming the main strategy for various organizations. This short survey of latest literature and research findings on cloud computing is offered in three parts. The first part involves the conceptualization of cloud computing, the second part outlines its benefits, and the third part explores organizations adoption of cloud computing.

    A. Overview of Cloud Computing

    Cloud computing can be defined as a technology paradigm that enables ubiquitous, appropriate, on-demand network access to share computing resources and services. Various computing resources like storage, servers, networks, applications and services which required to be rapidly provisioned and managed with minimal amount of efforts are offered in this paradigm [17]. Through the use of cloud computing technology, there is no need for users bother about managing resources and they get an access to all the available resources over the internet [1]. Cloud computing is defined as "a parallel and distributed computing system consisting of a collection of inter-connected and virtualized computers that are dynamically provisioned and presented as one or more unified computing resources based on Service-Level-Agreements (SLA) established through negotiation between the service provider and consumers[18]. The service providers are trying to make software and technology available on demand. The computing and storage over the internet can be used by the end-user who does not require having the knowledge about the actual location and the configuration of the system, where his/her data is coming from and being saved.

    Could computing provides three types of services [19], [20]. They include infrastructure as a service, Platform as a service and Software as a service.

    Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS): In this service, the cloud offers some physical devices such as computers which are connected virtually, various servers, and devices used for storage as services. All these services are located in one physical place (data center) but they could be accessed only through the internet. The clients of cloud computing only pay for what resources and services they use. For example, organizations can use cloud computing technique in email management, website hosting, and data management.

    Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS): This service typically stands for computing platform. Through PaaS, developers can use all services over the cloud computing instead of purchasing it. In PaaS, licenses for various platforms such as all the operating systems, databases management, and other programming software, become easily available on the internet [11].

    Software-as-a-Service (SaaS): In SaaS, cloud providers maintain infrastructure and platform to provide applications in business such as word, emails, CRM,

    and ERP. All these apps are carried over the internet which can be available for the end-user. The end user can easily get an access to the apps anywhere at any time. This is the most utilized Cloud Model [11].

    Free email services like Google and Microsoft are an example of a cloud computing approach that is already in action. However, there are various other services that can be used by private and public organizations which are launched recently that make use of cloud computing services such as data management, data analysis, mobile telecommunication services and various computing-based services that makes use of grid computing and parallel computing systems [21].

    B. Benefits of Cloud Computing

    In latest literature, it could be observed that challenges faced by organizations could be resolved by cloud computing which has been proved to be reliable [8]. The main advantages of cloud computing include offering lower expenses [22], better services standardization [23], and greater business adaptability [24]. Other advantages such as increased accessibility to cutting-edge technology and scalability of services, makes cloud computing technologies more appealing to be widely implemented in various sectors [6], [25]. Some of the other main advantages of cloud computing system are particularly in the application of e-government services which includes infrastructure minimization, improvement of network security, service scalability and implementation speed [26]. As suggested in [27], low total cost of ownership, low initial investment costs, faster time to benefits realization, continuous enhancement of the service offerings are usual benefits of implementing cloud computing. A study by Rath et al. [28] tried to find the advantages/benefits of the adoption of cloud computing by Indian companies. They concluded that the advantages for SMEs includes reduced investment in hardware, effective use of computing systems in current data centers, services and cost saving related to technology infrastructure and faster software upgrades with low expense.

    C. Cloud Computing Adoption in Organizations

    Many studies have been conducted on cloud computing adoption by private and public organizations. Neves et al. [29], have tried to identify various issues that are associated with social, economic, political and technological factors affecting the adaption of cloud computing and had given various ideologies to cope up with these issues. Makena [30] has identified the factors that has an effect on the adoption of cloud computing by Kenyan SMEs. Those factors are: technology, management support, relative advantage, size, preparedness, competitiveness, complexity and compatibility. Azarnik et al. [31] concluded that a risk-management program that is well-defined by which it focuses on cloud computing is essential for the success of organizations cloud computing transformation. Services such as data mining, optimization, risk modeling and simulation which are computationally intensive are the most important benefits for cloud computing adoption in Indian organizations [28]. The support of software functionalities, the ubiquitous access to data, responsive solutions to customer support queries, maintaining huge data and reducing cost are key success factors for organizations customers to adopt cloud computing [32]. Stieninger and

  • (IJACSA) International Journal of Advanced Computer Science and Applications,

    Vol. 9, No. 4, 2018

    123 | P a g e


    Nedbal [33] depicted that the factors influencing an implementation of cloud computing are perceived by safety and security, cost, trust management, and efficiency of energy. Hussein et al. [34] used qualitative and quantitative methods to investigate the awareness of cloud computing within SMEs present in Malaysia. As a result, the majority of the users only know about its benefits in terms of data backup and storage. A survey among seventeen IT managers was conducted in Spain concluded that they were also not aware of the cloud computing applications [35] .

    From the earlier publications, it can be noticed that many articles which are published are using different theories and models to study the effective implementation of cloud computing. Technology-Organization-Environment framework (TOE) is used in [36] to investigate the effective implementation of cloud computing within the SMEs, especially in UK. Some researchers proposed the implementation of the cloud computing technology based on the already existing TOE framework as shown in [36], [38]. Furthermore, the theory of Diffusion Of Innovation (DOI) has also been used [33]. Some researchers have proposed the process of studying the implementation of cloud computing based on the already defined two models together in a combined form [33], [37]. For example, Saedi and Iahad [37] found that the Technology-Organization-Environment Framework (TOE) and Actor Network Theory (ANT) are suitable for examining cloud computing implementation in various SMEs. Furthermore, Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) applied among the various models and methodologies to study cloud computing adoption [39].


    This study has utilized a qualitative approach to identify factors that can impact cloud computing adoption. In this approach, IT professional representatives who were invited from various private and public organizations in Saudi Arabia were interviewed. In order to make sure that the sample reflects the geographical spread and size classifications of private and public organizations across Saudi Arabia, the selection of organizations across different industries in Saudi Arabia has been carried out. A summary of the profile of these organizations is presented in Table I.


    Organization Domain Organization type No. of participants

    ICT Private 3

    Public 4

    Health Private 3

    Construction Private 1



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