“May I help You?” Increasing Trust in Cloud Computing Providers through Social Presence and the Reduction of Information Overload

Walter N, Öksüz A, Walterbusch M, Teuteberg F, Becker J

Despite the potential benefits of Cloud Computing (CC), many (potential) users are reluctant to use CC as they have concerns about data security and privacy. Moreover, the perceived social distance to CC providers can increase risk perceptions. Thus, gaining users' trust is a key challenge for CC providers. The results of our online experiment confirm that the intention to use CC services is highly dependent on a user's assessment of a provider's trustworthiness. We show that embedding two different assistive website elements (Search Box and Social Recommendation Agent) into CC providers' Service-Level Agreements and privacy policies positively influences the perceived trustworthiness of a CC provider by reducing perceived Information Overload and increasing perceived Control as well as Social Presence. Thus, besides improving security, CC providers not only have to communicate trust-critical information but also have to facilitate the search process for that information in order to be perceived as trustworthy.

Trust; cloud computing; information overload; social presence; social recommendation agent; search box; assistive website elements; service-level agreements; privacy policies

Publication type
Research article in proceedings (conference)

Peer reviewed

Publication status


35th International Conference on Information Systems (ICIS)

Auckland, New Zealand