Moving from Evaluation to Trial: How do SMEs Start Adopting Cloud ERP?

Siti Aisyah Salim, Darshana Sedera, Sukanlaya Sawang, Abdulrahman Hamad E Alarifi, Maura Atapattu


The advent of cloud technology involving low subscription overheads cost has provided small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with the opportunity to adopt new cloud-based corporate-wide systems (i.e., cloud ERP). This technology, operating through subscription-based services, has now provided SMEs with a complete range of IT applications that were once restricted to larger organisations. As anecdotal evidences suggest, SMEs are increasingly adopting cloud-based ERP software. The selection of an ERP is a complex process involving multiple stages and stakeholders, suggesting the importance of closer examination of cloud ERP adoption in SMEs. Yet, prior studies have predominantly treated technology adoption as a single activity and largely ignored the issue of ERP adoption in SMEs. Understanding of the process nature of the adoption and the factors that are important in each stage of the adoption potentially may result in guiding SMEs to make well-informed decisions throughout the ERP selection process. Thus, our study proposes that the adoption of cloud ERP should be examined as a multi-stage process. Using the Theory of Planned Behaviour (TPB) and Ettlie’s adoption stages, as well as employing data gathered from 162 owners of SMEs, our findings show that the factors that influence the intention to adopt cloud ERP vary significantly across adoptive stages.


SME decision-makers; cloud ERP; TPB; multi-stage

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ISSN: Online: 1326-2238 Hard copy: 1449-8618
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