Thematic mapping of cloud computing based on a systematic review: a tertiary study

Vahid Delavari, Elahi Shaban, Marijn Janssen, Alireza Hassanzadeh

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleScientificpeer-review

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Purpose: A large number of systematic reviews (SRs) studies have been performed in the cloud computing field, demonstrating miscellaneous outcomes and utilizing different approaches. Accordingly, a meta-review of cloud SRs is needed to appraise the results of such studies and create an integrated understanding. The paper aims to discuss these issues. Design/methodology/approach: A tertiary study was conducted using a systematic method to analyze SRs including two stages: searching and screening the SRs and thematic synthesis of results. As a qualitative data management tool, Nvivo software was used to support the research process, for data coding and synthesis. Findings: First, by searching electronic sources between the year of 2011–2016, out of a total of 142 identified articles, 94 articles were included according to pre-determined criteria, of which 76 articles were approved after qualitative evaluation. In the second stage, identifying the research themes, a map of the concepts and issues related to each theme was drawn up. The analysis shows that the quality of articles has improved but can be further enhanced using methodological guidelines as well as supporting tools. The research has focused more on the technical aspect, although there is an equal demand for synthesizing of cloud governance concepts. Originality/value: This is the first tertiary study which presents the main research themes and concepts of cloud SRs in form of thematic maps by using the thematic synthesis and SR methods. This paper also provides some recommendations to improve reviews after evaluating the quality of papers. This study can support reviewers for future SRs in the field and also helps practitioners and managers to have a better understanding of different aspects of cloud computing.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Enterprise Information Management
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Cloud computing
  • Governance
  • Systematic reviews
  • Tertiary study
  • Thematic synthesis

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