Mirella Muhic

Background

Postdoctoral Researcher in Innovation Engineering at Lund University, Faculty of Engineering

Degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Engineering from Lund University, Faculty of Engineering

M.Sc.,B.Sc.,in Information Systems, B.Sc.,Business and Economics, Major: Marketing Management from Lund University, School of Economics and Management

After graduation I worked for PriceWaterHouseCoopers (PwC) as an IT-consultant with small, big, local and multinational companies performing Data Management Analysis, Fraud Analysis, IT General Controls, IT Governance, and Business Process Analysis in Malmö and Stockholm. Having this insight into companies core and their IT systems I decided I wanted to pursue my dream from the time I enrolled the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program (graduated in 2007, Katedralskolan, Lund, Sweden), – namely to do research to improve organisational performance. This thirst for knowledge, curiosity and the need to develop science for a better tomorrow has always been a great interest of mine.

Starting off my academic career as a passionate course director, developing courses and lecturing both in Sweden and Internationally (University of Deusto, Bilbao Spain and University of Lisboa, Lisbon, Portugal), I have long experience of developing and coordinating courses, supervising and examining theses as well as lecturing at Lund University both on undergraduate (courses: IT for People, Organisations and Society; IT and Globalisation; Environmental and Quality Control from a Logistics Perspective; and at Umeå University: Digital Service Innovation; Organisational Management and IT; Digitalisation of the Society), and graduate level (at Lund university: Strategic Management and Information Systems; and at Umeå University: Digital Strategy).

Research

My research focus is on cloud sourcing and value co creation. As familiar to many cloud computing – storing data, applications and whole IT systems remotely rather than on companies’ own premises can reduce costs dramatically and speed up operations. There are many cloud vendors to choose from such as Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud, Amazon Web Services etc, still very few companies actually take the step out in the cloud. The biggest risk is giving up control of the data to someone else using different data centers in remote places, and in worst case face data loss, wiped data, corrupted or even stolen data.

Companies that decide to move their IT systems to the cloud are not only cloud sourcing, but they enter a strategic partnership with the other stakeholders involved in the cloud sourcing arrangement. This means that they put the very core functions of their organisation in the responsibility of external cloud providers and cloud brokers which poses certain risks. The problem is if cloud vendors actually can understand the business of the cloud customer well enough, and prove that they can do what they say the can do. This requires high level of trust.

Hence regarding cloud sourcing another story is more important than the one of traditional IT outsourcing due to the fundamental differences provided by the cloudsourcing arrangement. The IT based value in cloud sourcing is distinctively different of the one in traditional IT outsourcing. Thus IT based value – is not only based on IT. But merely on IT in combination with people. That means how the cloud sourcing arrangement is set up and how people make use of the IT – basically the characteristics of a cloud sourcing arrangement. Because it is people that give the IT its value depending on how they use it, maintain it, for what purpose they use it, its configuration, collaboration with other stakeholders etc – It is about how much value these people/stakeholders can extract/create from IT through the cloud sourcing arrangement relationship.

The fast scalability, flexibility, changes in infrastructure and software, volume etc, gives way to dynamic relationships with stakeholders in the cloud sourcing arrangement, that move much faster being more unpredictable, and that are not comparable with relationships in traditional IT outsourcing. Cloud sourcing arrangements require constant communication, updates, fast decision making, and readiness for quick changes on the fly etc. In addition, cloud platforms provide an array of opportunities for companies that know how to unlock the same, or may be a source of great financial and resource backdrop in companies that fail to do so. In my research I have identified the barriers to cloud sourcing that might explain why the cloud goes bad on some companies but not on other. To understand how to overcome these barriers in order to create value in multiple stakeholder relationships, carve out the path to innovation development and reach competitive advantage in the cloud – is the essence of my work.

Selected publications

Muhic, M., & Bengtsson, L. (2019). Dynamic capabilities triggered by cloud sourcing: a stage-based model of business model innovation. Review of Managerial Science, 1-22.

Muhic, M. (2019). Transition to Cloud Sourcing-Innovation and Competitive Advantage (Doctoral dissertation, Lund University).

Muhic, M., & Johansson, B. (2014). Sourcing motives behind sourcing decisions exposed through the Sourcing Decision Framework. International Journal of Information Systems and Project Management2(1), 5-17.