Relationship and Cloud Factors Affecting Government Confidence in the Public Cloud
Despite the advantages of the public cloud governments are still reluctant to deploy sensitive data and critical systems into the public cloud. The advantages of scalability and cost are attractive for governments and the current trend is for governments to consider placing more of their data and systems in the public cloud towards a more comprehensive government cloud solution. However, there are major concerns related to the public cloud that are especially significant to governments which are cause of reluctance in terms of public cloud adoption. Such concerns include security and privacy, governance, compliance, and performance. If these concerns are answered, governments will perceive less risk and be more confident to deploy to the public cloud. Besides the obvious technical solutions, which include improving security, another solution is an effective cloud service provider (CSP) - government relationship. Towards the development of such a solution the study contributes a novel approach to researching the CSP-government relationship in order to reveal, in depth and comprehensively, the relevant relationship and associated cloud issues, often neglected in previous research. Specifically, the developed research design was achieved through a mixed methods approach using a questionnaire and semi-structured interviews with senior IT professionals in various government ministries and departments in Saudi Arabia. The findings not only offer a comprehensive and in-depth understanding of the relationship, but also reveal specific relationship and cloud issues as problems towards the development of a solution to increase government confidence in the public cloud. Specifically, it was found that government were more concerned about areas of the cloud that are more relevant to government and there was often an associate lack of trust or perception of risk for these areas. Moreover, it was found that in relation to more specific areas of the cloud there was increasing concern in terms of trust and risk, the ability to negotiate and collaborate, and the perception of reputation. Based on these findings, which also revealed the various interplays between relationship factors as a novel contribution, the study offers recommendations to CSPs on how they may improve their relationship with the government. This is to be achieved through resolving relationship issues and associated cloud concerns within the relationship context towards improving government confidence in the public cloud. The findings also have implications for other parties which include governments considering the public cloud and those engaged in academic research in the area of government reluctance to use the public cloud.
- PhD