Confusion rains on US cloud consumers, suggests Citrix research

Confused lady

New research from Citrix suggests consumers are enthusiastic about cloud, but are confused about what it is.

The virtualisation giant's survey of 1,000 adults, conducted in the USA by Wakefield Research, shows cloud is widely used, but is still misunderstood.

The research revealed some baffling attitudes towards cloud, suggesting greater public education around the technology is required.

For example, when asked what cloud is, just 16 per cent said it was a network for storing, accessing and sharing data. The majority, however, said it was either a “fluffy white thing”, "the sky", or something else related to the weather. Some responses were even stranger, including “toilet paper”, “drugs”, “a mysterious network”, “sadness”, “joy”, or even “outer space”.

Additionally, just over half of the people surveyed, including the majority of those in the supposedly tech-savvy 18-30 age group, believed stormy weather can interfere with cloud computing.

The good news for cloud service providers is 97 per cent of respondents are using cloud services today for activities such as online banking or ordering their shopping. Furthermore, 59 per cent believe the workplace of the future will be entirely cloud-based.

Most Americans also recognise the economic benefits of the cloud after learning more about it. Thirty-five per cent said cloud helps consumers lower costs, while 32 per cent said it could spur small business growth.

Meanwhile, respondents had some rather more off beat suggestions about the benefits of cloud, with some claiming it would enable nude working (40 per cent), help them get a tan (33 per cent), or allow them to share information with someone they would avoid in real life (35 per cent).

In response to the results, Kim DeCarlis, vice president of corporate marketing at Citrix, said: “The most important takeaway 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.”

Jane McCallion
Managing Editor

Jane McCallion is ITPro's Managing Editor, specializing in data centers and enterprise IT infrastructure. Before becoming Managing Editor, she held the role of Deputy Editor and, prior to that, Features Editor, managing a pool of freelance and internal writers, while continuing to specialize in enterprise IT infrastructure, and business strategy.

Prior to joining ITPro, Jane was a freelance business journalist writing as both Jane McCallion and Jane Bordenave for titles such as European CEO, World Finance, and Business Excellence Magazine.