Information and Communication Management

What is Cloud Computing

For some years now, a new paradigm for the industrialization of IT has emerged under the umbrella term of cloud computing, which has resulted in increasing standardization and service orientation in the information and communication industry. Cloud computing enables companies to obtain IT services to support their business processes on a demand-oriented basis on a rental basis. It is a form of IT sourcing in which the entire operation and maintenance costs remain with the provider and only the service is rented by the customer and paid for based on consumption. There are differences to classic IT outsourcing with regard to the provision of services (provider), the service procurement (customer) and the relationship management between the two parties. As part of IT sourcing, cloud computing provides a new delivery model that is characterized by a high level of standardization and flexible usage options. Classic IT outsourcing offers a tailor-made solution which, on the one hand, transfers a high degree of responsibility to the provider and, on the other hand, implies complex integration with the customer. With cloud sourcing, it is possible for various customer groups (including specialist departments) to purchase desired IT products directly, without a major implementation project and the necessary IT infrastructure. Especially for small and medium-sized companies, cloud services will gain in relevance in the future and represent an alternative to IT outsourcing.

Characteristics of Cloud Computing

Cloud Computing represents a collection of services, applications or IT resources that are offered to the user in a flexible and scalable manner via the Internet, without requiring long-term capital commitment and IT-specific know-how. At its core, it can be characterized by five essential features, four forms and three different service models.

Cloud Computing vs IT-Outsourcing

The service models of cloud computing can be transferred to the three levels of IT outsourcing - technology, application and process - and represent a highly standardized form of IT sourcing at each level.

Research Work

The research work at the chair concentrates on the following main topics:

  • Management concepts in the context of cloud computing
  • Business models and application scenarios in cloud computing
  • Potential and competitive advantages through cloud computing
  •  Strategic alignment of cloud computing
  • Maturity models and performance indicators in cloud computing
  • Provider selection in the cloud

Provider Selection

The choice of provider poses a major challenge for companies in cloud computing. On the one hand, there are hardly any known criteria that need to be taken into account in the selection. On the other hand, there is still a lack of concrete decision-making models for selecting a cloud provider. Further information is available in the Study results on cloud provider selection.

In this context, research results can be subdivided according to whether the factors for cloud adoption relate to the purchasing company (internal customer) or to the provider (external customer).

see also publication on the framework.

As part of the research work at the chair of ICM, a framework for the selection of providers has been developed that systematizes and supports the decision-making process. The framework is evaluated with partners from practice to ensure a high level of application relevance. In this context, interested companies are welcome to contact the chair for an evaluation.



Repschläger, J., Wind, S., Zarnekow, R., & Turowski, K. (2012). "A Reference Guide to Cloud Computing Dimensions: Infrastructure as a Service Classification Framework" in 45th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS-45) .


Repschläger, J., Wind, S., Zarnekow, R., & Turowski, K. (2011). "Developing a Cloud Provider Selection Model" in Enterprise Modelling and Information Systems Architectures - EMISA 2011 .
Repschläger, J., & Zarnekow, R. (2011). "Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Systeme im Spannungsfeld zwischen klassischem IT-Betrieb und Cloud Computing" , Controlling , 23 (6),
Repschläger, J., & Zarnekow, R. (2011). "IT-Outsourcing und Cloud-Sourcing – Gemeinsamkeiten und Unterschiede" , ERP Management , 1 ,
Repschläger, J., Wind, S., & Zarnekow, R. (2011). "Klassifikationsrahmen für die Anbieterauswahl in der Cloud" in Informatik 2011 - IOS 2.0 - Neue Aspekte der zwischenbetrieblichen Integration durch Enterprise 2.0 .