Do You Know What Cloud Computing Is?
“A little knowledge is a dangerous thing.”
– Old proverb.
This little piece of enlightenment has been assiduously handed down over the ages; yet, in today’s technological and connected world, it may be the one thing with the potential of holding back cloud computing. Please allow me to explain.
People say that “too much of a good thing can be bad”, and as regards publicity for cloud computing, they are absolutely right. So popular has the phrase “cloud computing” become, that it is being glorified as a panacea to all IT ills. The problem with great expectations is that they often lead to great disappointments, and when that happens, even a reasonably successful technology is considered flawed. Cloud computing is under serious threat of thus losing its sheen.
Another problem that has emerged once “cloud computing” became a buzzword is its misappropriation to sell completely unrelated products and services. Consequently, when these products and services don’t meet customers’ expectations, cloud computing is termed guilty by association, however tenuous that association may be.
So, what’s the solution? In one word, education.
Proper education can go a long way in correcting wrong perceptions about cloud computing, both excessively negative and positive. Education can help in informing people that cloud computing has its shortcomings, but they are not insurmountable (See: Cloud Computing Risks (And How to Deal With Them)), that cloud computing is not invulnerable to security threats, but is no way the sieve several detractors make it out to be (See: Is Cloud Computing Secure? Yes, Another Perspective ), that cloud computing may occasionally crash like an airplane, but it’s still safer than “driving” on with traditional IT (See: The Similarities between Airplane Travel and Cloud Computing ).
Now, to answer the question posed by the title of this article, almost all the readers of this website will have a healthy knowledge of cloud computing. However, its lack amongst the general population, even business people, is demonstrated by a recently conducted web survey by Newtek Business Services, a company that provides various outsourced services like electronic payment processing, payroll processing, cloud-based services, etc.
According to this survey of 1,800 small and medium businesses (SMBs), the owners of as many as 1,278 have never heard of cloud computing. The results are summarized below:
|Do you know or have you ever heard of Cloud Computing?|
|If you know of or ever heard of Cloud Computing, can you describe what Cloud Computing is?|
|Do you have data or critical information, software or hardware in your physical office like a server, a tower, or a hard drive that may not be secure?|
|Is all of your critical computer hardware, software, and data stored and backed up offsite?|
Surprisingly, 71% of respondents haven’t even heard of cloud computing, in spite of Microsoft’s ubiquitous advertisements encouraging everyone to go “To the Cloud”. While this may seem a bit far-fetched, there’s no denying that SMBs are not informed about the benefits of cloud computing; I had earlier written about another survey which presented similar findings (See: How Small Firms Can Benefit Big From Cloud Computing (And Why They Are Not)). Therefore, education in the form of credible publications and non-rhetorical advertisements are definitely the order of the day.
Here are some educational articles on cloud computing:
By Sourya Biswas
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