October 18, 2012
--- Many Americans remain foggy about
what cloud computing is and how it works, a survey found. ---
computing” involves computer networks to store, access and share data from
Internet-connected devices. Most respondents in a Wakefield Research survey of
more than 1,000 American adults, however, believe the cloud is related to
weather, while some referred to pillows, drugs and even toilet paper. 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.
- 51% of respondents, including a majority of Millennials, believe
stormy weather can interfere with cloud computing.
- Nearly one-third see the cloud as a thing of the future, even
though 97% actually use cloud services frequently by banking or shopping
online, file-sharing and participating in social networks such as Facebook or
- Three in five people (59%) believe the “workplace of the future”
will exist entirely in the cloud, which indicates people feel it’s time to
figure out the cloud or risk being left behind in their professional lives.
- 22% admit that they’ve pretended to know what
the cloud is or how it works. Some of the false claims take place during work
hours, with one-third of these respondents faking an understanding of the cloud
in the office and another 14% doing so during a job interview. An additional 17%
have pretended to know what the cloud was on a first
- Younger Americans are most likely to pretend
to know what the cloud is and how it works (36% of those age 18 to 29 and 18% of
those age 30 and older), as are Americans in the West (28% West vs. 22% in the U.S.)
- 56% of respondents say they think other people
refer to cloud computing in conversation when they really don’t know what they
are talking about.
what “the cloud” is, a majority responded it’s either an actual cloud
(specifically a “fluffy white thing”), the sky or something related to the
weather (29%). Only 16% said they think of a computer network to store, access
and share data from Internet-connected devices. Some of the other responses
include: toilet paper, pillow, smoke, outer space, cyberspace, mysterious
network, unreliable, security, sadness, relaxed, overused, “oh goody, a hacker’s
dream,” storage, movies, money, memory, back-up, joy, innovation, drugs, heaven
and a place to meet.
After learning more about the cloud, 68% recognize
its economic benefits. The most recognized benefits are that the cloud helps
consumers by lowering costs, spurs small-business growth and boosts customer
engagement for businesses.
Among those who hardly ever or never use the
cloud, the top three deterrents are cost, security concerns and privacy