What is cloud computing? Average person has no idea

Execs, managers and users in your company may need some education about cloud computing from IT if the organization is going to use the Cloud properly. 

A common point of contention between IT and the rest of the business is that IT speaks in terms and lingo that non-techies don’t understand. And that’s especially a problem with new technology trends such as cloud computing.

While it may be hard for IT pros to believe, many people who work outside of IT have very little idea of what cloud computing actually is. In fact, the largest group of non-IT folks believe that “the Cloud” refers to something weather-related, and many use cloud computing regularly without realizing it, according to a recent survey from Wakefield Research and Citrix.

When asked what “the Cloud” is, just 16% of 1,000 U.S. adults surveyed gave an IT-approved definition of cloud computing as a method of storing and remotely accessing data, applications and other IT services. The largest number (29%) said “the Cloud” referred to an actual cloud or something to do with the weather. In addition, 51% believe that stormy weather affects cloud computing.

Educate execs and users on cloud computing

The Cloud is becoming more important to businesses, and CFOs and other top decision makers are starting to recognize the benefits of cloud computing. However, before embarking on a cloud computing initiative, IT must make sure everyone involved understands exactly what the Cloud is.

That may be difficult to ensure, as 22% of respondents admitted that they’ve pretended to know what cloud computing is — often while at work or in a job interview (and oddly enough, during dates). In addition, 56% believe they’ve heard people discuss the Cloud without knowing what they’re actually talking about.

The good news: Many people already know more about the Cloud than they think they do. In fact, 95% of respondents regularly make use of cloud computing, through online banking, online shopping, file storage and other services (even though though more than half think they never use the Cloud). Also, 59% believe the Cloud represents the “workplace of the future,” and 68% recognize the financial benefits of cloud computing.