How much do you really know about the Cloud? When there’s something we don’t fully understand it can be easy for us to just nod our heads, smile but actually have limited understanding of what we’re talking about.
If that sounds like you then you’re not alone. Citirx has just done a survey which says when most people are asked about the cloud they think of the weather. Other things people thought they might be talking about included pillows, toilet paper and drugs. Computing comes fairly low down the list.
The survey was done by Wakefield Research on behalf of Citrix and it asked 1,000 American adults back in August. It showed there is a lot of ignorance and a lack of understanding about the Cloud. Some thought stormy weather could disrupt it. Yet despite the confusion, there is an understanding that it’s a good thing with benefits for small businesses. 97% say they’re already using the Cloud, thanks to shopping online or sharing files. The majority of respondents said they think in the future the entire workplace will be in the Cloud.
But to make that future a reality, the survey clearly shows that for those selling Cloud products like Hosted Exchange or advocating the Cloud to businesses there is a job to be done in terms of making consumers feel confident about talking about the Cloud as well as using it. The battle in terms of selling benefits has already been done but if people can understand the real benefits, of being able to fully understand what they’re using and investing in they’ll be able to use it further and more confidently. That’s when real innovation can start to happen.
The idea of “fake it to make it” seems to be prevalent amongst business people talking about the Cloud, at least according to this survey. A fifth said they’ve pretended to know more than they really do about the Cloud. 14% said they’ve lied about how much they really know about the Cloud during a job interview. This exaggeration about how much we understand is much more likely to happen when we’re younger, mostly happening with 18 – 29 year olds.
Is it bad that we really don’t understand what the Cloud is? Well, for those selling Cloud services they want to reach as big an audience as possible, so potentially it may seem like it’s worse for them. But there’s also a problem in terms of the success of those who don’t take it up, who try to “fake it to make it”.
There’s already an acknowledgement that the Cloud is the future. It’s shaping work places and work practices. It isn’t just because it’s cheaper and more bespoke; there’s a growing realisation that what the Cloud frees you up to do is focus on innovation, to adapt and implement new ways of working as well as adopt business applications like email Exchange hosting with little risk. If you don’t have to lay out a huge amount of investment it makes it much easier to try something and see if it works, rather than ‘umm’ and ‘aaah’ about risking a pot of cash. This is a significant impact as it makes innovation and creativity par for the course. It could be the mentality that helps get businesses out of recession and boosts the economy. If they don’t fully understand it there might be businesses that miss out on the race and fail to benefit from the Cloud.
If the Cloud is the future, which most people acknowledge it is, then to stay ahead of the pack you need to know how it could make a difference to you and your business.