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Most Americans Believe Cloud Services are Affected by Stormy Weather: Study


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September 07, 2012

Most Americans Believe Cloud Services are Affected by Stormy Weather: Study

By Erin Harrison, Executive Editor, Cloud Computing

While the industry is caught up in the storm known as cloud computing by following adoption patterns and introducing new cloud services, most Americans believe that the “cloud” is actually affected by bad weather.

A recent Wakefield Research survey of more than 1,000 American adults, which was commissioned by Citrix, revealed that while the cloud is widely used, it is still misunderstood. In fact, 51 percent of respondents which included a majority of Millennials, believe stormy weather can interfere with cloud computing.

In addition, nearly one third see the cloud as a “thing” of the future, yet 97 percent are actually using cloud services today via online shopping, banking, social networking and file sharing. Despite this confusion, three in five (59 percent) 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.

Further, 22 percent of respondents – or one in five Americans – admit that they’ve pretended to know what the cloud is or how it works.

Customers have been hearing about cloud computing from a variety of sources for the past few years but this new research shows that they are somewhat confused by cloud computing and do not necessarily know what the real options are, according to MSPWorld’s Charles Weaver (News - Alert).

“These widespread views on cloud might mean that what we previously thought about cloud, that it is an easy to understand and powerful marketing device for IT management, may not be necessarily true,” Weaver said.

So if you believe most people understand that cloud is a computer network to store, share and access data from Internet-connected devices, consider this fact: When asked 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 percent).

If you are among the misunderstood, the cloud isn’t actually a “thing,” – it’s a metaphor, according to a recent Slate blog post by Matthew Yglesias.

“The idea is that you’re using your computer (or phone or tablet) to access data and applications that are hosted remotely,” Yglesias concluded. “I have no idea why this particular ‘cloud’ metaphor was chosen, and it doesn’t make a ton of sense, but it all has nothing to do with clouds or the weather.”

Want to learn more about cloud communications? Then be sure to attend Cloud Communications Expo, collocated with ITEXPO West 2012 taking place Oct 2-5, in Austin, TX.  Stay in touch with everything happening at Cloud Communications Expo. Follow us on Twitter.

Edited by Jamie Epstein

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