Journal of Business Economics

, Volume 84, Issue 3, pp 441–468 | Cite as

Exploring uncertainties in a marketplace for cloud computing: a revelatory case study

  • Sabrina HauffEmail author
  • Jan Huntgeburth
  • Daniel Veit
Original Paper


Today, highly standardized information technology (IT) resources such as storage and processing power are becoming available and affordable to all. Therefore, IT managers evermore focus on reducing the costs and risks that these resources entail rather than on the benefits or competitive edge they provide. A marketplace for cloud computing represents a promising alternative for obtaining standardized IT resources in a highly flexible and scalable manner. Based on a revelatory case study of a cloud market project, we show that uncertainties are prevalent in cloud markets and that the principal-agent theory is an adequate perspective to study and explain these uncertainties. By triangulating data from formal and informal interviews, documentations and project meetings, we develop a second-level contextual understanding of uncertainties in the relationships between market operator, cloud providers and users. Our analysis reveals that while cloud market operators have capabilities to mitigate uncertainties between cloud provider and user, they also cause new uncertainties from the cloud provider and user perspective. As an outcome, we present a framework that sheds light on the uncertainty trade-offs involved in the decision to adopt a cloud market by cloud providers and users.


Cloud computing e-Markets Adoption Case study Uncertainty Principal-agent theory 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Business and EconomicsUniversity of AugsburgAugsburgGermany

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