Post by Whitney Heckathorne, Marketing Manager
I love when web technology creates new verbs - Googling, Friending, Tweeting - indicating these web activities are so enveloped in our daily lives that we have to come up with ways to verbalize our usage.
But how long will it take for cloud computing to get “verb-ed”? For it to become so commonly referenced that even my mom and her friends will talk about “clouding” something? Okay… so maybe cloud computing will get assigned a different verb (because “clouding” sounds totally lame), but you get my gist.
Let’s take a step back—if you are asking yourself, “What is cloud computing?,” you’re not alone. Simply put, cloud computing enables you to store your files on the web (documents, pictures, videos, music, etc.), as opposed to on your computer, making your files available anywhere with Internet access. In other words, you don’t have to lug your laptop or a flash drive around to access your stuff. An additional benefit is that groups can collaborate on these files at the same time.
According to today’s Harris Poll, the following percentages of online Americans said they would be interested in using cloud computing:
- Email: 47%
- Pictures: 42%
- Music: 38%
- Office documents: 34%
- Videos: 33%
- Financial services: 27%
What most probably don’t realize is that the majority of us likely cloud compute without even knowing it. If you've ever stored your photos in an online photo album, shared a calendar online, stored documents in your email inbox, or even emailed, in general... CONGRATULATIONS! You’ve technically cloud-computed.
As cloud computing services, such as Google Docs and Dropbox, become even more popular and the business side of cloud computing expands, it’s easy to see why people feel intimidated by yet another web service to learn. And understandably, concerns about security and privacy are paramount.
- 81% of online Americans are concerned about the security of cloud computing;
- 62% do not trust cloud computing with personal information;
- 58% do not think files stored online are safer than on a hard drive; and,
- 57% do not trust that their files are safe online.
And privacy is certainly a concern of many; at the end of March, Yale University made a decision to not have their email be web-based because of security concerns about having grades and dicipline being in the "cloud."
So, lots of security concerns, but many online Americans still see the benefit of cloud computing and say having access to their files wherever they are would make their life much easier (63%).
Are we willing to risk possible loss of privacy to have our files be accessible whenever we want? Which is more important to you?
*Image courtesy of http://atyourlibrary.com/cloud-computing.htm