Misconceptions about the Cloud Remain

January 15, 2013

Cloud computing was unquestionably one of the top technology buzzwords in 2012, yet a large portion of people still don’t understand exactly what it is. According to a recent survey by Webfusion, nearly two-thirds of people in the UK have misconceptions about the cloud, or don’t know what it is at all.

“The word ‘cloud’ is a nebulous one at the best of times, and it can mean a whole host of discrete things to different people,” said Thomas Vollrath, CEO of Webfusion’s parent company, Host Europe Group. “However, the term itself – and its underlying message of bringing lower costs and greater flexibility to IT – is only really relevant to businesses.”

The survey found that 38 percent of respondents are unsure of what the cloud does, compared to 34 percent who feel they have a good understanding. Just 15.7 percent of respondents cited scalable hosting across servers as being a cloud computing service.

An earlier survey by Citrix revealed that Americans have just as many misconceptions about the cloud, with more than half of respondents answering that cloud computing is affected by stormy weather. In addition, 54 percent of respondents said they never use cloud-based programs, but of this 54 percent, 95 percent use the cloud for functions like social networking sites (58 percent), online shopping (63 percent) and online banking (65 percent).

At the same time, the study found that Americans seem to have a grasp on the business-related benefits of cloud computing. Nearly 60 percent of respondents said the workplace will be exclusively cloud-based in the future.

Meanwhile, a survey conducted by software firm INFORM found that while 12 percent of small and medium-sized businesses in the UK have adopted cloud-based programs, 68 percent expect to do so in the future.