It is simply astonishing when we think about how technology has changed our lives. The “cloud” can offer businesses superb cost and flexibility benefits. A recent survey reported that 80% of respondents use the cloud in some way in their daily business.
The idea of cloud computing is not really a new one. In fact, if you have used any of the various email services, Google Docs or online photo storage you have used the cloud without even knowing! The latest study conducted by Pew on the cloud states that 69% of U.S. internet users have been using cloud computing in one form or another.
In total, the study discovered that people are enthusiastic about the convenience of cloud computing. This is especially true regarding the younger audiences. It was noted that using the cloud was preferred by almost 77% of people age 18 to 29 but only 27% of those over age 65. Another good sign was that 52 percent said the cloud made it possible for them to rapidly add new products and services.
Now for the cons: According to the Pew study “Sixty-eight percent of users of at least one of the six cloud applications say they would be very concerned if companies who provided these services analyzed their information and then displayed ads to them based on their actions.”
There are still the usual objections of risk and concern over privacy but the overall outlook was positive according to the following studies:
Microsoft study: “35 percent of small and midsize businesses have experienced higher levels of security in cloud environments, dispelling the notion that security qualms make businesses reluctant to go to the cloud.”
Symantec survey: “Businesses are seeing improved disaster preparedness in virtual or cloud environments.”
comScore survey: “35 percent of businesses surveyed said they have experienced noticeably higher levels of security since moving to the cloud and 32 percent said they spend less time worrying about security and spend less time per week managing security than before they went to the cloud.”
KPMG and Forbes Insight: 81% of organizations have already moved at least some business activities to the cloud and expect 2012 investment “to skyrocket, with some companies planning to spend more than a fifth of their IT budget on cloud next year.”
The good news is that security is no longer a huge obstacle for the growth of cloud computing. The need to share and sync files between hundreds of different locations is not just “a nice thing to have” but an absolute necessity.