Buchtitel: Proceedings of 24th European Conference on Information Systems (ECIS 2016)
Using cloud services empowers organizations to achieve various financial and technical benefits. Nonetheless, customers are faced with a lack of control since they cede control over their IT resources to the cloud providers. Independent third party assessments have been recommended as good means to counteract this lack of control. However, current third party assessments fail to cope with an everchanging cloud computing environment. We argue that continuous auditing by third parties (CATP) is required to assure continuously reliable and secure cloud services. Yet, continuous auditing has been applied mostly for internal purposes, and adoption of CATP remains lagging behind. Therefore, we examine the adoption process of CATP by building on the lenses of diffusion of innovations theory as well as conducting a scientific database search and various interviews with cloud service experts. Our findings reveal that relative advantages, a high degree of compatibility and observability of CATP would strongly enhance adoption, while a high complexity and a limited trialability might hamper diffusion. We contribute to practice and research by advancing the understanding of the CATP adoption process by providing a synthesis of relevant attributes that influence adoption rate. More importantly, we provide recommendations on how to enhance the adoption process.