Gravitation of SaaS-centric cloud platforms

Authored by: André Halckenhaeusser , Armin Heinzl , Kai Spohrer

The Routledge Companion to Managing Digital Outsourcing

Print publication date:  July  2020
Online publication date:  July  2020

Print ISBN: 9781138489370
eBook ISBN: 9781351037785
Adobe ISBN:


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SaaS-centric Cloud platforms, i.e., platforms that provide marketplaces to trade and execute SaaS solutions, are becoming increasingly important. In creating marketplaces, platform providers open new sales and marketing opportunities for third-party developers of Cloud-based software. Prior research focused on platforms’ development capabilities but left their distribution and transaction facilitation capabilities largely unconsidered. Nonetheless, distribution channels constitute a crucial element in the business model of SaaS-centric Cloud platforms. Addressing this gap, our study examines how and why SaaS-centric Cloud platforms gravitate, i.e., which factors help them attract and retain participants. Our qualitative exploration is based on four case studies of different SaaS-centric Cloud platforms. Our findings suggest the existence of two sets of catalyzing and inhibiting factors for platform gravitation which are contingent upon the platform type. This study contributes to research on Cloud platforms, ecosystem governance and integration issues related to Cloud computing. The examination of the identified factors opens promising avenues for future research.

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