Citrix survey: Is the cloud confusing?

James has more than a decade of experience as a tech journalist, writer and editor, and served as Editor in Chief of TechForge Media between 2017 and 2021. James was named as one of the top 20 UK technology influencers by Tyto, and has also been cited by Onalytica, Feedspot and Zsah as an influential cloud computing writer.

A survey from Wakefield Research for virtualisation experts Citrix has shown that, for consumers, many Americans are unaware of what ‘the cloud’ entails.

32% of respondents stated that cloud was “a thing of the future”, while 95% of those surveyed who thought they weren’t using the cloud actually were, for such simple tasks as online banking and social networking.

The research, which garnered responses from over 1000 American nationals, found some surprising and eye-opening results. Highlights included:

  • 40% of respondents stated an advantage of the cloud was being able to access work information in their “birthday suit”
  • A quarter of those surveyed said the cloud was great for keeping embarrassing videos off the hard drive
  • A third of interviewees said they faked knowledge of the cloud at work, with 14% pretending to know for a job interview and 17% winging it on a first date

Thankfully, Americans did see other benefits from cloud computing other than the freedom of working in the nude.

Economic benefits were frequently cited, with the most recognised benefits being lowering costs, being a catalyst for SME growth, and improving consumer engagement for businesses.

Conversely however, 35% of those who responded claimed a benefit of the cloud was being able to communicate with people they’d rather not interact with in person.

Cost was the main deterrent from using the cloud, with 34% of those interviewed citing this as the main reason they’re not using cloud services.

Security (32%) and privacy concerns (31%) were second and third respectively, with lack of knowledge on the cloud and already owning software which does the job also cited.

Yet there evidently appeared to be some misunderstandings among consumers.

Kim DeCarlis, Citrix VP of corporate marketing, said: “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”.

However, DeCarlis added: “The most important take away from this survey is that the cloud is viewed favourably 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”.

Does this lack of consumer knowledge about cloud computing worry you? Or is it a case of wait and see for more tangible benefits to those who don’t work in IT?

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