In spite of regular news coverage about cloud computing and the growth in consumer cloud services, the public’s understanding of what the cloud actually is remains 'alarmingly low'.
This was the finding of domain registrar 123-reg, which repeated a survey it conducted in early 2013 to find out how the public’s understanding of cloud computing has changed over the course of the year.
The research found that just 37% of respondents were confident that they knew what cloud computing was, up from 34% in 2013. While 36% stated that they had little or no understanding of ‘cloud’ in the context of computing, compared with 38% the year before.
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Although two in five (39%) correctly identified online file hosting services, such as Dropbox, as cloud-based, just one in four correctly identified iTunes (24%), email services like Hotmail or Gmail (24%) and scalable hosting across multiple servers (25%).
Commenting on the results, Matt Mansell, 123-reg’s Managing Director, said: “Cloud grows in popularity with each year that passes in business spheres with business owners taking advantage of the flexibility and scalability that it brings – but members of the general public do not (knowingly) share this enthusiasm, despite the popularity of the term across the technology and consumer market.
“This in itself is by no means problematic. After all, why should a consumer care about the technicalities of how their services are delivered? For consumers it’s the end result that matters. The majority of people simply want innovative applications that can offer a smooth user experience on a range of devices. This does, though, have implications for how technology companies sell and market their products. Rather than waxing on about consumer clouds, businesses marketing their ‘cloudy’ products should focus on those messages.”