An exploration of high performance computing cloud contract for SMEs: A systematic literature review

Qin Lu*, Nadja Damij, Jason Whalley

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Purpose
High performance computing (HPC) is used to solve complex calculations that personal computing devices are unable to handle. HPC offers the potential for small- and medium-size enterprises (SMEs) to engage in product innovation, service improvement and the optimization of resource allocation (Borstnar and Ilijas, 2019). However, the expensive infrastructure, maintenance costs and resource knowledge gaps that accompany the use of HPC can make it inaccessible to SMEs. By moving HPC to the cloud, SMEs can gain access to the infrastructure without the requirement of owning or maintaining it, but they will need to accept the terms and conditions of the cloud contract. This paper aims to improve how SMEs access HPC through the cloud by providing insights into the terms and conditions of HPC cloud contracts.

Design/methodology/approach
This paper adopts a systematic literature review by implementing a four-step approach. A comprehensive search was undertaken and results synthesized to enable this paper’s objectives to be met.

Findings
This paper proposes that SMEs could gain competitive advantage(s) by understanding their own needs and improving their contract negotiation abilities, service management skills and risk management abilities before accepting the terms and conditions of the cloud contract. Furthermore, a checklist, service-level agreement, easily ignored elements and risk areas are presented as guidance for SMEs when reviewing their HPC cloud contract(s).

Originality/value
While HPC cloud contracts are a niche research topic, it is one of the key factors influencing the ability of SMEs to access HPC through the cloud. It is, however, by no means a level playfield with SMEs at a distinct disadvantage because of not influencing the writing up of the HPC cloud contract. The added value of the paper is that it contributes to our overall understanding of the terms and conditions of HPC cloud contracts.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages16
JournalDigital Policy, Regulation and Governance
Early online date8 Sep 2022
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 8 Sep 2022

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