Title: Key factors in the internationalisation process of SMEs exporting business software as a service

Authors: Thomas Reuwer; Slinger Jansen; Sjaak Brinkkemper

Addresses: Department of Information Management, University of Amsterdam, Roetersstraat 11, 1018 WB Amsterdam, The Netherlands ' Department of Information and Computing Sciences, Utrecht University, Buys Ballot Laboratory, Office 584, Princetonplein 5, De Uithof 3584 CC Utrecht, The Netherlands ' Department of Information and Computing Sciences, Utrecht University, Buys Ballot Laboratory, Office 582, Princetonplein 5, De Uithof 3584 CC Utrecht, The Netherlands

Abstract: Little is known about how SMEs export business software as a service. This article describes six case studies in which prevailing factors regarded as essential for the internationalisation process of software as a service are identified: generic software, a domestic market base, technical internationalisation and localisation, entrepreneurial management, personal customer contact, and usage of specific market selection criteria such as high IT penetration and maturity levels and psychical proximity. These factors and their interplay do not fit in the established theoretical models of internationalisation in the literature. A redefinition and refinement of internationalisation theories specific to software as a service are needed.

Keywords: software as a service; SaaS; business software; business information systems; software exporting; software exports; SME internationalisation; stage theory; network theory; international entrepreneurship theory; key factors; small and medium-sized enterprises.

DOI: 10.1504/IJBIS.2013.052048

International Journal of Business Information Systems, 2013 Vol.12 No.2, pp.140 - 162

Available online: 11 Feb 2013 *

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