Cloud Service Certifications: Measuring Consumers' Preferences for Assurances
Proceedings of the 21st European Conference on Information Systems, Utrecht, Netherlands, June 5-8, 2013
Posted: 2 Aug 2013
Date Written: 2013
Cloud computing by now has gained wide recognition in business and is becoming increasingly important for consumers. However, consumers experience uncertainties, such as security, privacy, and vendor lock-in. Certifications provide assurances and may mitigate uncertainties, making cloud Service certifications a core focus of the European Union’s cloud strategy and various certification programs. In this paper, we identify ten potential assurances for cloud service certifications and empirically assess their relative importance as perceived by consumers. We surveyed 53 consumers who use or intent to use consumer cloud services in a discrete choice experiment that follows the best-worst scaling (BWS) method. Results indicate that privacy, security, and availability are the three most preferred assurances, whereas process maturity, flexibility, and financial stability are the three least preferred assurances. This paper contributes to research by utilizing BWS, which – to the best of our knowledge – so far has not been used in IS research, and thereby directing attention to a promising method. By identifying and empirically ranking various quality and trust assurances for consumer cloud services, we furthermore build foundations for future research on trust-assuring arguments and quality signals for cloud services as well as provide insights for practice on designing effective cloud service certifications.
Keywords: cloud computing, certification, trust, best-worst scaling
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