PACIS 2019 Proceedings


The application software enterprise market is facing a fundamental change from onpremises software products to cloud-installed services based on ‘pay-per-use’ subscriptions. We propose a novel conceptual framework to analyze this transformation from an ecosystem perspective. Through a case study of SAP, we demonstrate that the cloud platform ecosystem differs from the on-premises software product ecosystem, with changed roles, responsibilities, patterns, and key stakeholder relationships. The findings suggest that the traditional product platform ecosystem has evolved in three directions: 1) the structures of partner ecosystems are changing, with partners and platform leaders forming a new micro-ecosystem as a basic unit to interact with customers; 2) the role and function of the traditional distribution channel have been eroded and weakened; and 3) the growing importance of platforms has changed the value relationships amongst stakeholders. Based on these findings, we discuss the managerial implications for the stakeholders in the cloud platform.