According to a recent survey conducted by Wakefield Research for Citrix, approximately 51 percent of the respondents believe that a few rain clouds in the sky will directly interfere with Internet-connected electronics when attempting to upload or download data through cloud computing. Of the 1,004 people surveyed, the majority thought the term “the cloud” was related to actual clouds in the sky and 29 percent thought it had to do with weather conditions. Only 16 percent recognized the cloud as the common term when referring to a computer network that stores data for Internet-connected devices like laptops, tablets and smartphones.
Approximately 54 percent of the respondents stated that they didn’t use the cloud when using their Internet-connected devices. However, over 90 percent of that group admitted to several common actions that uses cloud storage for user data.
These actions included online banking and shopping, browsing social networks like Facebook, using file-sharing services, playing online games as well as storing photos, videos and music on various Web services. It’s clear that people are able to take advantage of cloud computing without actually being able to define it.
Also interesting, more than one in five respondents have claimed to understand how the cloud works, but were only pretending to understand. In addition, over 50 percent of the respondents believe that when friends, family and co-workers refer to the cloud in conversation, they really don’t understand it at all. One third of the respondents have pretended to understand references to the cloud at work and fourteen percent claimed to understand cloud computing during a job interview. In addition, seventeen percent pretended to understand “the cloud” while on a first date.
However, nearly 60 percent of respondents believe that the “workplace of the future” will exist entirely in the cloud. When asked about advantages to conducting business over cloud computing, over a third want to use it in order to avoid specific people at work and approximately forty percent would like to use it at home to avoid getting dressing in the morning.
When asked why using cloud computing wasn’t a priority for them, respondents named privacy concerns, security concerns and cost as the main deterrents to cloud computing. However, some respondents do believe that businesses can lower costs with cloud services as well as increase consumer engagement.
While some Americans aren’t quite sure how to define the cloud, this hasn’t stopped many Web startups from taking advantage of cloud computing to scale up services for new users. According to a recent article in the New York Times about Amazon Web Services, CEO Daniel Gross, the founder of the Cue mobile application, claimed that Amazon Web Services saved the company hundreds of thousands of dollars and provided a great deal of flexibility as more users started using the application. In regards to Amazon Web Services, Gross stated “I have ten engineers, but without A.W.S. I guarantee I’d need sixty. It just gets cheaper, and cheaper, and cheaper. I don’t even know what the ballpark number for a server is. For me, it would be like knowing what the price of a sword is.”