You’re Already Using the Cloud and Don’t Even Know It

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The cloud is not some ominous idea that is too far beyond reach because in most cases, people are already using it and prefer it to other solutions. Understanding its worth and what it really means can help companies get the most value out of it.

Cloud is Mainstream

In a 2012 study, Citrix and Wakefield Research talked to 1,000 Americans to learn more about their knowledge and feelings about the cloud. The results show that while more and more services are in the cloud, most don’t realize they’re even using it.

In fact, of the people who said they were not using cloud services, 95% of the respondents were actually regular users of cloud services. Out of the group of 1,000 people, 97% were already using cloud services in the form of online banking, e-commerce, social networking, file sharing, and e-mail, among other mainstream services.

Cloud Confusion

Amidst all the confusion for what the cloud actually is (only 16% were able to define the term and 32% felt it was tied to the weather), feelings about the cloud were extremely positive once learned what it actually was. From seeing the cloud as supporting small business growth to being a possible job engine, Americans see the economic benefit of cloud computing. They also see the personal benefits of the cloud’s flexibility — 40% liked the ability to access work information in their “birthday suit” and 25% preferred to keep embarrassing videos off their personal hard drive and into the cloud.

With all the positive feelings about the cloud, it’s not surprising that one in five respondents admitted feigning knowledge of the cloud in conversation. In light of this, it makes a lot of sense that consumer-focused companies offering cloud services, like Apple and Amazon, opt to use the word “Internet” in place of the cloud. It’s something we all recognize we use and sounds a lot less fluffy.

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