If someone were to ask what "the cloud" means to you, would you look up to the sky? Chances are you'd probably describe a fluffy, white mass of water droplets that have formed in Earth's troposphere.
In the tech world though, "cloud" means something completely different and a recent survey by Citrix Systems shows that only 16 percent of Americans can accurately define cloud computing. More than half of Americans would say they've never used cloud computing, while 95 percent of them actually have.
"While 'the cloud' may be the tech buzzword of the year, many Americans remain foggy about what the cloud really is and how it works," Citrix Systems writes.
In fact, one in five Americans surveyed admitted to pretending to know what the cloud was when they really couldn't define it. And 51 percent of respondents said stormy weather could interfere with cloud computing.
Well, here's an answer from PC Mag as to how you would generally encounter cloud computing in your personal life:
In essence, personal cloud computing means having every piece of data you need for every aspect of your life at your fingertips and ready for use. Data must be mobile, transferable, and instantly accessible. The key to enabling the portable and interactive you is the ability to synch up your data among your devices, as well as access to shared data. Shared data is the data we access online in any number of places, such as social networks, banks, blogs, newsrooms, paid communities, etc.
Assisted by Wakefield Research, Citrix Systems surveyed 1,000 people 18 and older about their knowledge of cloud computing and how they use it in their daily lives. Here are some of the findings regarding Americans' viewpoints of cloud computing:
- When people pretend to know the cloud: One third of respondents pretended to understand the cloud in an office setting and 14 percent did so in a job interview. "Interestingly, an additional 17 percent have pretended to know what the cloud was during a first date."
- Words used to define the cloud: Toilet paper, pillow, smoke, outerspace, cyberspace, mysterious network, unreliable, security, sadness, relaxed, overused, oh goody a hacker’s dream, storage, movies, money, memory, back-up, joy, innovation, drugs, heaven and a place to meet.
- Concerns of the cloud: There were a variety of reasons why some rarely or never used the cloud: cost (34 percent), security concerns (32 percent) and privacy concerns (31 percent).
Even though it would appear Americans don't quite know what to make of the cloud yet, they believe there is a value in learning more about it.
“This survey clearly shows that the cloud phenomenon is taking root in our mainstream culture, yet there is still a wide gap between the perceptions and realities of cloud computing,” Kim DeCarlis, vice president of corporate marketing at Citrix, said in a statement. “While significant market changes like this take time, the transition from the PC era to the cloud era is happening at a remarkable pace. The most important takeaway from this survey is that the cloud is viewed favorably 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.”
Featured image via Shutterstock.com.