Deciding on Using Application Service Provision in SMEs

Detta är en avhandling från Institutionen för datavetenskap

Sammanfattning: The use of external providers for the provision of information and communication technology (ICT) in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) is expected to increase. At the end of the 1990s the concept of Application Service Provision (ASP) and Application Service Providers (ASPs) was introduced. This is described as one way for SMEs to provide themselves with software applications. However, itcan be stated that the concept has not taken off. This study examines what reasons influence the decision-making when deciding to use or not use ASP. The research question is: How do SMEs decide on using an Application Service Provider for the provision and maintenance of ICT? In order to answer the question decision-making processes in SMEs have been investigated in an interpretive case study. This studyconsisted of mainly semi-structured interviews that were done with three different ASPs and customers related to them. It also consisted of a questionnaire to the customers of one of the service providers. The analysis was then made as a withincase analysis, consisting of detailed write-ups for each site. The interviews and a literature survey of the ASP concept and theories that have been used to explain the ASP decision-making process generated seven constructs. From the presented and discussed theories, models and proposed constructs seven propositions were formulated. These propositions were used for the analysis and presentation of the findings in the study. The main conclusion of the study is the disparate view of what affects the adoption or non-adoption of the ASP concept. The service providers express the decision as a wish from the prospective customer to decrease costs and increase the predictability of costs. The customers on the other hand express it as a wish to increase accessibility; the cost perspective is found to be secondary.

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