Date of Conferral

2017

Degree

Ph.D.

School

Management

Advisor

Dr. Godwin Igein

Abstract

An understanding of opportunities and challenges in cloud computing is needed to better manage technology costs and create financial value. The purposes of this transcendental phenomenological study were to understand the lived experiences of minority business owners who operated business applications in the cloud and to explore how these experiences created financial value for businesses despite security challenges. Historically, minority business owners have experienced high rates of business failures and could benefit from information to help them manage business costs in order to position their businesses to grow and succeed. Modigliani-Miller's theorem on capital structure and Brealey and Young's concept of financial leverage were the conceptual frameworks that grounded this study. Data consisted of observational field notes and 15 individual semistructured interviews with open-ended questions. I used the in vivo and pattern coding approaches to analyze the data for emerging themes that addressed the research questions. The findings were that drivers of positive cloud-based experiences, such as easy access, ease of use, flexibility, and timesavings, created financial value for small business owners. In addition, the findings confirmed that opportunities in the cloud such as cost savings, efficiency, and ease of collaboration outweighed security challenges. Finally, the results indicated that cost-effective approaches such as the subscription model for acquiring technology created financial value for businesses. The findings of this study can be used by business owners, especially minority small business owners, to decide whether to move operations to the cloud to create financial value for their businesses.