Cloud Computing in Support of Supply Chain Information System Infrastructure: Understanding When to go to the Cloud


  • Acknowledgments: An earlier version of this paper was presented at the Fifteenth Annual Conference of the Southern Association for Information Systems on March, 2012, Atlanta, Georgia. The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not reflect the official policy or position of the United States Air Force, Department of Defense, or the US Government.


Research suggests that there are other, more granular factors within the domain of innovation diffusion theory that influence the adoption of technological innovations. In this study, the circumstances that affect a firm's intention to adopt cloud computing technologies in support of its supply chain operations are investigated by considering tenets of classical diffusion theory as framed within the context of the information processing view. We posit that various aspects of an organization and its respective environment represent both information processing requirements and capacity, which influence the firm's desire to adopt certain information technology innovations. We conducted an empirical study using a survey method and regression analysis to examine our theoretical model. The results suggest that business process complexity, entrepreneurial culture and the degree to which existing information systems embody compatibility and application functionality significantly affect a firm's propensity to adopt cloud computing technologies. The findings support our theoretical development and suggest complementarities between innovation diffusion theory and the information processing view. We encourage other scholars to refine our model in future supply chain innovation diffusion research. The findings of this study might also be used by industry professionals to aid in making more informed adoption decisions in regard to cloud computing technologies in support of the supply chain.