Information Systems Frontiers

, Volume 21, Issue 4, pp 861–875 | Cite as

Differential cloud adoption: A comparative case study of large enterprises and SMEs in Germany

  • Surya KarunagaranEmail author
  • Saji K Mathew
  • Franz Lehner


Cloud computing is widely advertised as a technology-based service model and an emerging business model which is highly beneficial for the adopting organizations. But, academic landscape lacks sufficient empirical studies of cloud adoption at firm-level, and the existing cloud adoption factors are mostly anecdotal in nature. A multiple case study approach was used to extract and compare adoption characteristics of SMEs and large firms in Germany, based on the Technology-Organization and Environment (TOE) framework. The study shows that there exist important differences between SMEs and large enterprises regarding the cloud adoption factors. The results further show that large firms perceive characteristics of the cloud to be more complicated and not easy to implement compared to SMEs which contradicts the popular belief that large firms are forerunners in adopting innovations and, the widely publicized cost benefits of cloud services are perceived to be in favor of SMEs.


Cloud computing TOE Technology adoption Comparative study Innovation adoption 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Management StudiesIndian Institute of Technology MadrasChennaiIndia
  2. 2.Chair of Information SystemsUniversity of PassauPassauGermany

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