Buchtitel: Proceedings of the 22nd European Conference on Information Systems (ECIS 2014)
Cloud service certifications (CSCs) are proposed in practice as instruments to mitigate the prevailing uncertainties about cloud computing, but research on their efficacy in business contexts thus far is lacking. In addition, previous research on other types of IT certifications is consumer-focused and inconclusive in terms of certifications´ effects on factors that influence decisions, resulting in a vast literature body on certifications´ outcomes that lacks structure. To address these research needs, we first derive a conceptual model of certifications´ outcomes based on a systematic literature analysis of 42 empirical studies. Next, informed by the conceptual model, we explore outcomes of CSCs and related contingency factors through seven interviews with cloud computing experts. We find that cloud service certifications influence decisions directly and indirectly via perceived assurance, perceived risks and trust. Moreover, these outcomes are moderated by contingency factors, such as trust in the certification and cloud experience. Our study contributes to research by structuring the variety of concepts in literature on certifications´ outcomes and serving as a knowledge base for future research. Furthermore, it contributes to practice by helping practitioners to understand CSCs´ outcomes and contingency factors.