More than one-half (54%) of online adults in the US say they never use the cloud; however, 95% of those who think they're not using the cloud, actually are: 65% use online banking, 63% shop online, 58% use social networking sites, 45% play online games, and 29% store photos online—all cloud-based activities—according to a survey from Citrix.
Moreover, nearly one in three (32%) online adults say the cloud is "a thing of the future," while nearly one in four (22%) admit they've pretended to know what the cloud is or how it works.
Asked to define what "the cloud" is, a plurality (29%) of Americans cited some type of weather-related term (e.g., the sky, or an actual cloud). Only 16% said (correctly) the cloud is a computer network to store, access, and share data from Internet-connected devices.
Moreover, it's not just the name that's puzzling. Most Americans are also unsure about how the cloud works: 51% said they believe stormy weather interferes with cloud computing:
Even so, most (68%) respondents, after being exposed to the meaning of the cloud, recognized its benefits and cited the following as the cloud's top economic advantages:
- Lower costs: 35%
- Improving consumer engagement for businesses: 35%
- A catalyst for small business growth: 32%
Also, 40% of the Americans surveyed cited the ability to access work information from home in their "birthday suit" as a top advantage of the cloud, while 35% cited the ability to share information with people they'd rather not interact with in person.