Abstract: This paper reports on an investigation of information technology (IT) enablement for a global service organization (small/medium enterprise [SME]), with focus on the feasibility of Platform-as-a-Service (PAAS) using cloud computing technology. A positivist-empirical research approach was followed to perform the feasibility analysis while also leveraging the benefits of cloud computing for an enterprise portal in a way that adds value for the enterprise. The following tasks were performed: (1) problem analysis of services, (2) literature review, (3) conceptualization of problem, (4) initiation and scope definition, (5) feasibility study, and (6) conceptualization of proposed solution. There were two main deliverables, namely the feasibility report and a proposed implementation. The feasibility report provides analyses that align the IT strategy and enterprise strategy; a tactical and strategic analysis; a business process analysis; a defined value proposition; a cost benefit analysis; and a process performance analysis. Based on the feasibility report an acquisition proposal for a cloud-based portal with a PAAS implementation is formulated. The paper provides cloud practitioners with some recommendations and practical references relating to implications for practices and procedures in the services agency domain, security requirements, training requirements, and phased process improvement. The findings of this investigation contribute to the body of knowledge for both academics and professionals regarding e-business. The investigation was conducted as part of an academic course in collaboration with a real-world small to medium size agency with limited resources. There are two limitations to this investigation: first, the proposed solution is conceptual and will be implemented in the next phase of the research project, and second, generalization of the proposed solution has potential and the solution could be examined for other service domains.
Keywords: Cloud Computing, business process improvement, Platform as a Service (PaaS), process performance matrix
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Recommended Citation: Gai, K., Steenkamp, A. (2014). A Feasibility Study of Platform-as-a-Service Using Cloud Computing for a Global Service Organization. Journal of Information Systems Applied Research, 7(3) pp 28-42. http://jisar.org/2014-7/ ISSN: 1946-1836. (A preliminary version appears in The Proceedings of CONISAR 2013)