Cloud computing is definitively a hot topic in the world of technology and we often have opportunities to hear expert thoughts on it. Major research companies have carried out surveys that examined deployment of cloud computing in enterprise and small businesses worldwide. However, non-tech and non-business people didn’t have many chances to express their own views on cloud computing.
Recent survey by Wakefield Research examined 1000 American adults on cloud computing and got some interesting findings.
Last week, the most often quoted fact was that 51% of respondents said they believed cloud computing can be affected by a stormy weather. Even those that did associate cloud with network to store and access data online were not quite sure how actually cloud computing functions.
Many laughed at these statements but they are not necessarily that funny because this might be partly true. Remember the Amazon outage when harsh storms caused some of their servers to go down? The websites that were taken down this time due to the storm probably still associate cloud computing with the actual cloud and not in a good way. Outages like this caused many discussions about the reliability of cloud servers and this remains one of the most important topics related to cloud computing in general.
Despite this seemingly funny initial response about the cloud, it turned out that 97% of people actually use cloud services regularly. They also admitted they are not quite sure of how it works and that they have been faking their knowledge about it. Furthermore, 56% said that they believed other people also refer to cloud without actually knowing what it is. This implies that cloud computing may sound more complicated than it actually is.
However, the respondents did show a good level of understanding the impact of cloud computing on economy and growth of small businesses.
Around 35% of people recognized the benefits related to cutting costs in business and improving consumer engagement. In addition, they also seemed to share same concerns with managers and other IT pros. Those who did not use cloud services stated that the major inhibitors to adopting the cloud are related to costs, privacy and security.
All in all, the results might not be that surprising after all. Cloud computing is a complex concept and it is expected to have multiple interpretations depending on a user’s point of view. Most often it is seen as a business solution and as such it triggers discussions related to its deployment in enterprise. As a technology, cloud storage and online file transfer solutions are as old as the Internet itself, but they are getting more widely used among non-tech people. The fact that they might not actually realize how cloud computing functions doesn’t and shouldn’t prevent this technology to become/remain an integral part of their lives.