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Cloud computing in the 3PL industry. A profound insight into the benefits & challenges of cloud-based services: A two fold approach
Jönköping University, Jönköping International Business School, JIBS, Centre of Logistics and Supply Chain Management.
Jönköping University, Jönköping International Business School, JIBS, Centre of Logistics and Supply Chain Management.
2014 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Problem: Practical industry advancements associated with cloud computing in the contextof supply chain rapidly proliferate. However, there is a lack of academic research that investigatesthe application of this technology from a theoretical standpoint. A significantpart of the literature explores the perceived advantages and disadvantages related to the decision-making process of the adoption of the specific technology, rather than the perceivedbenefits and challenges when the cloud has been already adopted and used. Furthermore,absent from the literature is a thorough understanding of the cloud-based applications inthe industry of 3PLs, and the perceived benefits and challenges not only from the userχsside but from the supply side as well. The research is limited referring to critical aspects ofcloud computing applied on 3PLs within a theoretical basis. Thus, in this study, the authorsaim at filling these gaps by exploring what types of cloud-based services are applied on3PLs, what are the perceived benefits and challenges from the 3PLs perspective as well asfrom their cloud providers/IT companies.

Purpose: The purpose of this thesis is to investigate what cloud-based services are used inthe 3PL industry as well as the challenges and benefits perceived by the cloud providers of3PL firms and by the 3PL firms that use this technology. In order to gain a thorough understandingof this usage and grasp the full picture within the focal industry, the research isfocusing on the perspectives of three cloud providers and three 3PLs that use and/or providecloud based services.

Method: : This is a qualitative study. The authors are making use of a case study strategywith six investigated companies. The majority of the data is gathered from semi-structuredinterviews, while documentary secondary data concerning basic companiesχ information,have been collected as well. The analysis of the findings is based on the revision of the settedapriori codes by the authors. A cross-analysis between 3PLs and cloud providers ofthose firms is being conducted in order to identify the perceived challenges and benefits ofcloud by both, within the 3PL industry.

Conclusion: The findings of this thesis demonstrate Software as a Service (SaaS) and moreprecisely, transportation administration (TA) software, as the most prevailing cloud-basedsystem applied in the 3PL industry nowadays. It has been revealed that 3PLs benefit fromcloud technology in terms of cost savings, strategic flexibility, access to leading-edge IT resourcesand security, whereas the challenges faced are related to performance and strategicaspect. Furthermore, the authors identify and propose the different phases of cloud computingimplementation in the 3PL sector. Lastly, a model of perceived challenges and benefitsof cloud in 3PLs firms has been compiled and presented.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. , 70 p.
Keyword [en]
3PLs, benefits, challenges, cloud-based services, cloud computing, cloud logistics, cloud providers, cloud usage
National Category
Business Administration
URN: urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-24135OAI: diva2:726489
Subject / course
IHH, Business Administration
Available from: 2014-09-15 Created: 2014-06-18 Last updated: 2014-09-15Bibliographically approved

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