UNDERSTANDING THE BENEFIT STRUCTURE OF CLOUD STORAGE AS A MEANS OF PERSONAL ARCHIVING - A CHOICE-BASED CONJOINT ANALYSIS

Abstract

While cloud storage has seen an increasing rise in demand and diffusion, it is also becoming a commodity, which makes it more difficult for cloud storage providers to be competitive in the market. To be successful as a storage provider, it is crucial to understand customer preferences so that these can be addressed accordingly. In this paper, we investigate consumer cloud storage choice decisions by employing a conjoint analysis that is based on empirical data collected from 340 participants and analyzed by means of hierarchical Bayes estimation. Our findings indicate significant differences in consumer preferences for price, storage capacity, encryption mechanism and accessibility. Based on these differences, we derive three consumer clusters that also exhibit differences in, e.g., their privacy concerns and risk beliefs. Based on our findings, we highlight some practical implications that can aid cloud storage providers in service design and adjustment decisions. This study contributes to the literature by providing a better understanding of the benefit structure and trade-offs user make in the choice of storage services. As an alternative to commercial conjoint software packages, we further contribute a method that can be adopted by other scholars who seek to conduct conjoint analyses using free software

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