Towards a cloud computing evaluation and governance framework: addressing its organizational impact, risks, business case and governance.
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This research aims to contribute to the body of knowledge on the topic of cloud computing and thereby assisting organizations with the adoption of this technology, by addressing two concerns for top management which are not yet adequately researched: the evaluation of cloud computing and cloud governance. In order to evaluate cloud solutions effectively, a good understanding of its risks, organizational impact and business case is needed. However, these aspects were not researched in an integrative way. Also, a top management’s responsibility is the governance of IT and a concern when adopting cloud solutions. But what does governance mean for cloud computing? Most cloud governance frameworks only address security and do not take into account governance mechanisms, such as processes and structures, to enhance the value of cloud computing applications. Therefore, in this research, a framework is developed which aim to assist higher management with the evaluation and governance of cloud computing by integrating the business case, risks and organizational impact aspects, and providing insights into cloud governance. In order to develop the framework, literature was reviewed in conjunction with additional interviews with six cloud computing experts. This resulted in an initial framework, on which feedback was provided by six potential users and cloud experts. Based on these results, a revised framework was developed, consisting out of two separate models for the evaluation and governance of cloud solutions. After a second round of feedback, a final framework was developed. The main limitations of this research are the limited amount of interviewees that provided feedback on the framework, the possible lack of depth of the cloud evaluation framework and that the focus of the cloud governance model is on reducing risks, despite the objective of approaching cloud governance in a wider perspective. Future research can be done on the topics of cloud security, the organizational impact of cloud computing and cloud governance. The cloud governance framework of this research can also act as input to compare the governance of cloud computing to that of traditional IT outsourcing.