The Moderating Effect of Subjective Norm on Cloud Computing Users' Perceived Risk and Usage Intention

Article excerpt


The high popularity and high demand of internet applications lead to faster development of cloud computing services that make network access become more convenient. However, using a new technology can cause users' perceived risk because they worry about internet security and invasion of privacy. The study aims to explore the influence of end users' perceived risk on usage intention of cloud computing services and the interactive effect of perceived risk and subjective norm on usage intention. The study dispatched 350 questionnaires to internet users. The amount of valid questionnaires is 238 and the effective response rate is 68%. The results showed that both perceived risk and subjective norm are significantly affected to usage intention, and subjective norm has a moderating effect on the relationship between perceived risk and usage intention.

Keywords: perceived risk, subjective norm, usage intention, cloud computing services, moderating effect

1. Introduction

According to Foreseeing Innovative New Digiservice (FIND, 2010b), the total number of fixed broadband internet subscribers reached 5.05 million, and social networks such as Facebook providing by cloud computing services were up to 8.0 million users in Taiwan. Ellison, Steinfield, & Lampe (2007) suggested that peers and network societies often influence users to join social networks to develop interpersonal relationship. However, in order to understand the current usage condition and future need for the use of data storage in cloud computing services, Institute of Information Industry (III) performed an online survey and found that over sixty percent of respondents replied that they were willing to use the services but they concerned more about invasion of privacy and personal information leakage (FIND, 2010a). It is obvious that information security of cloud computing services is the most important issue concerned by the public. The study is to explore the influence of end users' perceived risk on usage intention of cloud computing services and to examine whether subjective norm is a moderating variable between the relationship of perceived risk and usage intention.

2. Literature Review

2.1 Cloud Computing Services

Cloud computing is a model for enabling ubiquitous, convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources (e.g., networks, servers, storage, applications, and services) (Wikimedia, 2011). Computer World indicated that cloud computing can be divided into two categories: cloud computing services and cloud computing technologies (Huang, 2009). Cloud computing services focus on remote access to services and computing resources provided over the Internet "cloud" which include software as a service (SaaS) applications such as Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and payroll services, as well as vendors that offer access to storage and processing power over the Web (Brodkin, 2008). Cloud computing technologies emphasizes on the use of technologies such as virtualization and automation that enable the creation and delivery of service-based computing capabilities. This category is "an extension of traditional data center approaches and can be applied to entirely internal enterprise systems with no use of external off-premises capabilities provided by a third party" (Brodkin, 2008), so it is also called "private cloud" (Huang, 2009)." Although the study has mentioned some cloud computing technologies, the majority of the research concentrated on applications of cloud computing services.

The first mover in cloud computing was in 1999, which pioneered the concept of delivering enterprise applications via a simple website, and the next was Amazon which launched Amazon Web Services in 2002 (Mohamed, 2009). Then, Google, Microsoft, Yahoo search engine, Facebook and internet map providers all followed suit. This concept of cloud computing has been existed for a long time and has continuously expanded into an indispensable tool in peoples' life. …


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