Background – SMEs around the world are making significant contribution towards economic development and thus, business expansion of SMEs is an important concern for the sustainable growth and development. In the same context, application of cloud computing is the good way to support expansion of SMEs business; however, features, challenges and barriers would have obstructed cloud computing implementation. In context of cloud computing, all barriers and risks are discussed in this dissertation.
Aim and Objectives- Aim is to explore and examine features, barriers and challenges of using cloud computing service by Irish SMEs. The objectives covered in this dissertation are exploration of all features, barriers and challenges in applying cloud computing, need for cloud computing and impact of cloud computing on business expansion
Questions- This research project has answered to the various questions, “How far and to what extent cloud computing aids SMEs in Ireland to expand their businesses?”, “What are the benefits and challenges of cloud computing to Irish SMEs in expanding the business?” and “What are the considerable barriers faced by Irish SMEs in applying cloud computing for the business expansion?”
Methodology/Method- Qualitative research strategy was used in this research to collect detailed data about all challenges and risks facing by SMEs in using cloud computing. For this purpose, interview was conducted with 6 managers of three different SMEs (staff lesser than 10, staff lesser than 50 and staff lesser than 100). The views of managers were analysed with the implication of thematic analysis method.
Findings and Analysis- It has been analysed that implied nature of this research would be useful for the SMEs taking decision of applying cloud computing. From the interview and literature data, it has been generalised that cloud computing is not easier for Irish SMEs due to the challenges of security, technical, infrastructure, cost of run, virus, network related challenges and profit and loss. The risks in application of cloud computing is found higher in case of SMEs with limited facilities and resources.
Limitations-This research study is focused explicitly on Irish SMEs that is one of its limitations because it would have a limited collection of data to the business market of Ireland. However, it narrows down research study for the pertinent findings. The unavailability of the studies in specific to the size factor of SMEs to identify the usefulness of cloud computing for business expansion is another limitation of this research study. This would obstruct relevancy of the results in the absence of the pertinent studies
Conclusion- It can be concluded that there is a wider practical scope of this research undertaken on SMEs in context of features, challenges and barriers in applying of cloud computing. This research has made good contribution in the investigated topic by determining challenges and risks facing particularly in context of SMEs business expansion. Altogether, it can be concluded cloud computing can be applied effectively through dealing with the numerous challenges and risks because features of cloud computing are supportive for the business expansion of SMEs.