Technology Acceptance Model Tam and Information Systems Success Model Literature Review

Excerpt from Literature Review :

Technology Acceptance Model

Using Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) to Assess User Intentions and Satisfaction on Software as a Service (SaaS):

The Value of SaaS

Software as a Service (SaaS) was researched by Benlian and Hess (2011) in an effort to determine its value to companies. Among the arguments was that SaaS is already declining in popularity even though it is very new. The majority of the arguments that lean in that direction have been made by individuals who believe that SaaS is not offering the level of value that was originally expected of it (Benlian & Hess, 2011).

The main reason they feel that SaaS is lacking in value is because there were many problems with the deployment of it in the beginning (Benlian & Hess, 2011). At that point, there was a concern that the application would not work well because it was not ready when it was first made available. Many people who have trouble with a software application in the beginning will not return to the application later to see if it has improved (Benlian & Hess, 2011).

The goal of the Benlian and Hess (2011) study was to examine the value that was being offered to people who chose to use SaaS, as that would help them to determine the future potential of SaaS as it related to the IT industry. In order to do this, a research model was created (Benlian & Hess, 2011). This model was grounded as a part of the theory of reasoned action, and an opportunity-risk framework was created (Benlian & Hess, 2011).

Then, data was collected from nearly 350 IT executives in Germany who were surveyed regarding their use of SaaS and their feelings about the application (Benlian & Hess, 2011). Even though the sample size was small, the study design was grounded carefully in theory in order to make it more viable on a larger scale.

The theory of reasoned action is related to the idea that anything that is done has to be done after looking carefully at both the cost and benefit of the action (Benlian & Hess, 2011). There were opportunities provided by SaaS, but those had to be greater than the risks that were involved with it. These risks included buying the application, implementing it for a business, and using it properly in order to see what kind of value it really had for companies that chose it for their IT needs (Benlian & Hess, 2011). With no value found for SaaS, it would die out quickly all throughout the marketplace. However, there are ways that SaaS can be adapted to provide a great deal of value for many different kinds of companies, and that was something that was also explored in the study.

There was a solid framework used for the study, so that there would not be any threat to validity. The only case that could be made against validity was that the size of the sample was relatively small (Benlian & Hess, 2011). However, the researchers understood and acknowledged that, as well as ensuring they chose the type of framework that would normally be used in a study of that particular size and type (Benlian & Hess, 2011).

Even though the researchers acknowledged the small sample size, though, it was still agreed that the outcome might have been very different for a much larger group of people (Benlian & Hess, 2011). In order to cover any concerns that had to do with the study, the lack of a larger sample size had to be pointed out by the researchers (Benlian & Hess, 2011).

Study findings indicated that the biggest barrier to using SaaS was the lack of security -- or at least the perception that there would be security threats -- and that made companies reluctant to switch over to SaaS (Benlian & Hess, 2011). That was true of the people who did decide to use SaaS and the people who weighed the risks and benefits and decided that it was too much risk to consider using it (Benlian & Hess, 2011).

Of course, there are many valid reasons to use SaaS. One of them is the cost, since it is much less expensive to use SaaS once it has been deployed and implemented by the company (Benlian & Hess, 2011). That is generally true of cloud based applications, but they are not always the right choice for a particular company's needs (Benlian
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& Hess, 2011).

Many companies were happy with the lower cost and decided that SaaS was the best choice, but there were other risks and benefits that also had to be considered (Benlian & Hess, 2011). When examining those benefits and risks, there were big differences between companies that had adopted SaaS and companies that chose not to do so (Benlian & Hess, 2011). The main differences were not in the security risk or the cost, but in the performance of the software and the economic risks the company was taking (Benlian & Hess, 2011). Getting access to specialized resources was also a part of the equation when companies were deciding whether to use SaaS (Benlian & Hess, 2011).

Companies that are offering or planning on offering SaaS to other companies can gain a lot of information from this study, because there are important implications that have to be acknowledged. For example, specific factors must have priority over other factors that are not deemed as significant by companies that are considering purchasing SaaS for use as part of their IT plans (Benlian & Hess, 2011).

SaaS companies may also want to consider how they can downplay factors that need to be avoided so that the company considering SaaS can see how it will fit into the adoption lifecycle their company has for technology (Benlian & Hess, 2011). When a company provides SaaS to other companies, it must do so in such a way as to provide the largest and most significant benefit for the lowest cost.

The Technology Acceptance Model

Because SaaS is a cloud based application, it is far different than other types of software applications that would be purchased and used by a company on its own servers (Benlian & Hess, 2011). In order to better understand why some studies seem to indicate that SaaS will be wildly successful while others show that to be highly unlikely, it is important to discuss the Technology Acceptance Model (TAM). This model relates to how users (in this case companies) come to use and accept a new or different type of technology (Workman, 2007). It is suggested that there are a significant number of factors that are used when people are deciding if they want to adopt and use a new type of technology (Workman, 2007).

However, the two most significant factors that are considered by end users are whether the technology is easy to use and whether it will be useful (Bagozzi, 2007; Chuttur, 2009; King & He, 2006). Both of those are, understandably, important considerations that must be carefully addressed. Perceived usefulness is vital to a business when considering whether to adopt a new technology (King & He, 2006; Venkatesh, 2000). If it is not believed that using the new technology will enhance job performance, the person will not find the technology useful enough to adopt it (Workman, 2007). There are exceptions to this rule, of course, but that is generally the case with most people and most companies.

The ease of use of the new technology also matters. A person does not want to go from using something he or she is used to working with to something that is complex, complicated, or difficult to deal with (Bagozzi, 2007; King & He, 2006; Venkatesh, 2000). There would be no real point to doing that unless there was a large benefit, and most people do not or cannot see a benefit if they are going to have to learn a lot of new information and spend a lot of time determining how to work new technology (Workman, 2007; Bagozzi, 2007). The new technology should make their lives (and jobs) easier right from the start, or it has a low chance of getting adopted (Workman, 2007).

That is unfortunate, because there are many technological advances that do have a learning curve. Once something has been learned it will improve a person's life, but there has to be a process of learning it that can take some time and effort (Chuttur, 2009; King & He, 2006). Through the use of the TAM, however, those types of technology would not get used and would likely die out in the marketplace because they have little to offer to people who want ease of use from the very first day (Workman, 2007; King & He, 2006). The TAM is always being upgraded and studied, however, because people's perceptions about technology change quite frequently (Workman, 2007). The TAM 2 is an upgrade, and there has also been a TAM 3 that has been discussed…

Sources Used in Documents:

References

Bagozzi, R.P. (2007) The legacy of the technology acceptance model and a proposal for a paradigm shift. Journal of the Association for Information Systems 8(4): 244 -- 254.

Benlian, A. & Hess, T. (2011) Opportunities and risks of software-as-a-service: Findings from a survey of IT executives. Decision Support Systems, 52: 232-246.

Chuttur, M.Y. (2009) Overview of the Technology Acceptance Model: Origins, Developments and Future Directions. Indiana University, USA, Sprouts: Working Papers on Information Systems.

DeLone, W.H. & McLean, E.R. (2002) Information systems success revisited. In Proceedings of the 35th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS 02). Big Island, Hawaii: 238-249.

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