Effect of Cloud Database Service on User Intentions and Satisfaction for Business Research Proposal

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¶ … Cloud Database Service on User Intentions

and Satisfaction for Business

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The pervasive nature of cloud computing is re-ordering the economics of enterprise software, leading to widespread integration and adoption of database services. Moving from capital expense-driven (CAPEX) based spending to operating expense (OPEX) funding models, cloud computing platforms are accelerating in adoption throughout all levels of businesses today. In large-scale enterprises, cloud computing is being increasingly relied on as the infrastructure layer of global computing platforms. Examples of this include two-tier Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) strategies that scale across Asia, Europe and North America. In addition, cloud-based database services are being used today for unifying the diverse Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platforms across diverse business models and cultural boundaries. The same holds true for the integration of Supply Chain Management (SCM) systems on a global scale as well. The reliance on cloud database services is one of seeking to integrate systems of record and the many diverse workflows into a single, unified strategy. Databases used to create the single system of record across enterprise that also rely on ERP, CRM and SCM systems require a standard level or quality of service in order to complete basic and advanced business strategies.. These three application areas, ERP, CRM and SCM, are the most prevalently used throughout enterprises. They are also the three most critical application areas that are driving the global adoption of cloud database services as well. The question this research proposal looks to address is how effective cloud database services are in defining user intentions of adoption and overall satisfaction with these technologies within a business context.


TOPIC: Research Proposal on Effect of Cloud Database Service on User Intentions and Satisfaction for Business Assignment

The level of consistency and reliability that cloud database services deliver and the resulting levels of customer satisfaction attained is the focus of this research proposal. Throughout this research proposal the critical role of cloud database services will be shown, including their influence on user intentions and satisfaction with computing performance in general, in addition to specific application performance as well. The user intention and customer satisfaction of cloud database services can be measured using quality of service (QoS) metrics of the performance of the database platform technologies which measures performance purely at a technology level. Additional research is needed to measure the attitudinal aspects of how cloud database services influence user intentions and customer satisfaction. The intention of this research proposal is to evaluate the attributes of QoS performance at the technical level followed by attitudinal measures of performance for cloud database services in place today and how their performance is contributing to greater levels of productivity within enterprises who have adopted this platform globally.

As user intention and customer satisfaction are attitudinal in nature, the methodology for this study concentrates on using Likert scaling to capture the relative ranking of these technologies and their relative contributions to enterprise performance. Supplanting the Likert-based scaling analysis will be financial analysis of the performance of firms included in the research methodology. The correlation of attitudinal assessments to financial performance of cloud-based databases services will be included in this analysis. The pervasive use of metrics specifically in the application areas of ERP, CRM and SCM applications that require a cloud database service to operate across the enterprise will also be used as the foundation of this analysis. Determining if there is a strong correlation between the attitudinal perceptions and valuation of cloud database services and their financial performance is at the center of this research proposal.

Literature Review

The foundation of cloud database services is based on the cloud technology stack as defined by the foundational elements of Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) which is used for supporting the Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) layer of the cloud platform. The most visible area of the cloud computing stack is the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) layer which is where applications that users interact with are located (Armbrust, Fox, Griffith., et.al., 2010). The attitudinal measures of user intentions and customer satisfaction are measured from this specific level of the cloud computing technology stack. The SaaS layer of the cloud computing stack is also where the majority of enterprise software companies deliver their applications including those that are ERP, CRM and SCM-based (Marston, Li, Bandyopadhyay, Zhang, Ghalsasi, 2011). The cloud computing technology stack and its customization and permeability across the enterprise are the primary factors that are revolutionizing the economics of cloud computing. The agility of the cloud computing stack is also re-ordering the capital expense (CAPEX) spending levels of companies, drastically reducing them as these series of technologies make it possible to subscribe to only those applications and features that deliver the greatest value to a given business or process.

The ability to align specific applications, processes and workflows to a given series of business problems, giving the business owner the flexibility of customizing just the specific parts of the application they need, is changing the economics of cloud computing. This approach to using only those aspects of the cloud computing technology stack and respective applications underscores the ability to charge only for the elements used. The economics of these decisions lead to operating expense (OPEX)-based payment for these services (Wang, Rashid, Chuang, 2011).

The cloud technology stack has made this customization and tailoring of enterprise software applications possible. The degree of customization is particularly appealing to large-scale enterprises that have in the past been forced to use monolithic, difficult to customize ERP, CRM and SCM applications. The inherent advantages of cloud computing and the agility of configuration for the applications lead to greater levels of customer satisfaction and greater user intention to adopt advanced technologies. It is anticipated that this research will show that there is statistically significant higher levels of satisfaction with cloud-based applications relative to their on-premise counterparts precisely due to the greater levels of customization and tailoring to specific internal needs, a key finding from previous research (Arinze, Anandarajan, 2010).

In the nascent and rapidly growing area of cloud computing there is evidence however of significant gaps between expectations and the experiences of customers. this is especially the case throughout the enterprise, where the mix of on-premise, old-line systems are converging with cloud-based database services. This convergence of existing-generation enterprise systems and cloud computing systems including cloud database services creates an exceptional level of hype as well. Gartner Group, one of the leading it consultancies, has created a Hype Cycle for Cloud Computing, which is shown in Figure 1. This graphic shows how expectations of cloud computing are accelerating, and the proliferation of technologies in this area of computing.

Figure 1: Gartner's Hype Cycle for Cloud Computing

Source: http://softwarestrategiesblog.com/2011/07/27/gartner-releases-their-hype-cycle-for-cloud-computing-2011/

The myriad of technologies shown in the Hype Cycle for Cloud Computing can be attributed to the massive level of investment occurring in this market due to its exponential growth. Venture capitalists see significant value in the business models of companies in these segments as the economics of cloud computing combined with early adopters show significant potential for growth. The Hype Cycle also indicates where early adopters are most and least satisfied with these emerging technologies as well.

From a customer an expectation, user intentions and satisfaction perspective, the further a given technology is on the hype cycle curve the more mature it is, therefore the greater value it is generating. The most mature cloud technologies are on the Slope of Enlightenment and Plateau of Productivity. These areas of the hype cycle indicate where enterprise can expect to gain the greatest value of adopting new technologies over the long-term. Conversely the Technology Trigger and Peak of Inflated Expectations are those areas that have the greatest distance between expectations and experiences. The greater the distance between these two areas of early adopters' experiences the more costly mistakes are from an enterprise software implementation standpoint. The greater the level of successful adoption of a given technology, the faster it progresses down the adoption curve of the hype cycle.

Cloud databases services are evident in several areas of the hype cycle including database platform as a service (dbPaaS), multitenancy, Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), Public Cloud Storage and virtualization. These areas are all directly related to the cloud services architecture. What is particularly challenging about orchestrating these technologies are creating a unified strategic plan that takes into account the relative merits each emerging and established technology. As cloud database services are comprised of a series of technologies with several being nascent as defined by their location on the Hype Cycle for Cloud Computing, the relative maturity of each technology must be taken into account in any research methodology to measure user intention and satisfaction.

Structural aspects of cloud computing in general and cloud database services specifically have the potential to influence user intentions, user satisfaction and long-term adoption and use of these technologies. The agility of these technologies to meet complex strategies and workflows throughout an organization has a direct effect on user intention and satisfaction. The intent of this research proposal is to evaluate the impact of varying cloud computing infrastructure platforms as well. The three most dominant in use throughout industries today are… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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