An Agency Perspective to Cloud Computing
The field of cloud computing is strongly affected by conflicts of interest between providers and users of resources. A comprehensive and integrative model for representing and analyzing these conflicts on a theoretically well-founded basis is, however, still lacking. Therefore, this paper establishes such a model based on economic agency theory. Employing two realistic example scenarios, we identify representative challenges faced by cloud users and generalize them as typical problems present in agency relations. Based on this conception, we correlate existing practices and strategies from cloud computing with corresponding abstract instruments from agency theory. Finally, we identify approaches that are – even if suggested by economic theory – not practically employed in the cloud domain and discuss the potential to utilize them in future technical and non-technical developments.
KeywordsCloud computing Agency Principal-agent Adverse selection Moral hazard Hold-up
The research presented in this paper has been partially funded by the European Commission in the context of the Research Framework Program Seven (FP7) project SECCRIT (Grant Agreement No. 312758, https://seccrit.eu).
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