Cloud Confusion is Considerable

While “the cloud” may be the tech buzzword of the year, many Americans remain unclear about what the cloud really is and how it works. A new national survey by Wakefield Research showed that most respondents believe the cloud is related to weather, while some referred to pillows, drugs and toilet paper. 

Those in the know claim working from home in their “birthday suit” is the cloud’s greatest advantage. The good news is that even those that don’t know exactly what the cloud is recognize its economic benefits and think the cloud is a catalyst for small business growth.

Below are some selected survey highlights:

95% of those who think they’re not using the cloud, actually are using the cloud.

Approximately 59% of respondents believe the “workplace of the future” will exist entirely in the cloud.

40% believe accessing work information at home in their “birthday suit” would be an advantage.

More than 1/3 agree that the cloud allows them to share information with people they’d rather not be interacting with in person.

After being provided with the definition of the cloud, 68% recognized its economic benefits.

14% have pretended to know what the cloud is during a job interview.

“This survey clearly shows that the cloud phenomenon is taking root in our mainstream culture, yet there is still a wide gap between the perceptions and realities of cloud computing,” said Kim DeCarlis, VP Marketing at Citrix. “While significant market changes like this take time, the transition from the PC era to the cloud era is happening at a remarkable pace. The most important takeaway from this survey is that the cloud is viewed favorably by the majority of Americans, and when people learn more about the cloud they understand it can vastly improve the balance between their work and personal lives.”

Luckily, the confusion ends with the average consumer as many CIOs and other senior IT pros actively seek and often see true value in the deployment of Cloud Computing initiatives for their organizations. Many however are cautious in adoption because of several ongoing Cloud challenges such as lingering security concerns and potential vendor lock-in issues. In addition, many of the challenges faced by CIOs surrounding Cloud Computing are non-technical in nature and concern how the changes related to a move to the Cloud effect existing employees, management, processes and policies.

The move to the cloud is disruptive to the current workplace. For example, if you are the CIO of your organization and you spent the last decade locking down your data center hardware, patching your OSs, developing a disaster recovery plan, and securing your applications are you really in a rush to move the operation and applications to the cloud? 

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Bill has been a member of the technology and publishing industries for more than 25 years and brings extensive expertise to the roles of CEO, CIO, and Executive Editor. Most recently, Bill was COO and Co-Founder of CIOZone.com and the parent company PSN Inc. Previously, Bill held the position of CTO of both Wiseads New Media and About.com.

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