A recent nationwide survey conducted by Wakefield Research and sponsored by Citrix, found that many Americans are confused about what the "cloud" is and how they use it. Key survey findings:
"When asked what “the cloud” is, a majority responded it’s either an actual cloud (specifically a “fluffy white thing”), the sky or something related to the weather (29 percent). Only 16 percent said they think of a computer network to store, access and share data from Internet-connected devices..."
Many people already use the cloud and don't know it:
"A majority of Americans (54 percent) claim to never use cloud computing. However, 95 percent of this group actually does use the cloud. Specifically, 65 percent bank online, 63 percent shop online, 58 percent use social networking sites such as Facebook or Twitter, 45 percent have played online games, 29 percent store photos online, 22 percent store music or videos online, and 19 percent use online file-sharing. All of these services are cloud based."
Survey respondents seem to know the advantages and disadvantages of the cloud. The most recognized benefits are that the cloud lowers costs (35%), spurs small business growth (32%) and boosts customer engagement for businesses (35%). The three leading concerns are cost (34%), security (32%), and privacy (31%).
The survey was conducted during August 2012 and included 1,000 adults nationwide. The info-graphic below includes more survey findings.