Service Descriptions for Cloud Services - The Customer’s Perspective
Proceedings of ConLife Academic Conference 2012, Cologne, Editors: Grove, N. and Sunyaev, A.
10 Pages Posted: 17 Jul 2012
Date Written: 2012
Traditional IT outsourcing is a supplier business. Outsourcing providers seek to engage in sustainable long-term business relationships providing their clients with customized IT services. The client relies on the Request for Information (RFI), the Request for Proposal (RFP) as well as the due diligence to receive required information directly from potential service providers. Triggered by the progressive adoption of the cloud computing paradigm the traditional value chain in the IT outsourcing industry is breaking up and gets replaced by a complex value network. Cloud computing is a system business where IT services are highly standardized and created for an anonymous market, rather than being customer specific. As part of this development, customers unilaterally provision standardized IT services via online distribution platforms like Google Apps Market and Force.com. Clients who want to obtain IT services via the cloud have to gather all relevant information for decision making their selves online, rendering RFIs and RFPs as well as due diligence inapplicable.
Prerequisite for the widespread use of cloud services by organizations are cloud service descriptions covering all information required in order to compare and select services. Analysing firms’ information demands associated with service and provider selection in IT outsourcing, this paper identifies the information needed by organizations for cloud service selection. A catalogue of description elements required by the client is compiled. Using the Unified Service Description Language (USDL) as a framework, our results are clustered into eight description elements which are related to the business, the operational, and the technical domain.
Keywords: Cloud Computing, Outsourcing, IT Services, Service Description, Customer’s Perspective
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