Thursday, March 24, 2011

Survey: Cloud Computing Has the Power to Enhance Consumer Data Consumption, But Obstacles Hinder Greater Short-Term Adoption

As the growth of connected devices is expected to reach 22 billion within the next decade, according to IMS Research, there will be a greater need for consumers to move their data to cloud-based services. However, while nearly half of consumers are aware of the cloud, only nine percent acknowledge that they fully understand it.

Cloud computing is used to describe applications and services hosted and run on servers connected to the internet that end users do not have to maintain or support. Consumers are increasingly in need of cloud-based services with data spread across multiple devices, including laptops, cell phones and tablet computers. As 4G data networks begin to roll out over the next year, consumers will be consuming and needing to access greater amounts of data across all of their connected devices.

However, while there is a general understanding of what the cloud is, the vast majority of consumers don't fully understand what it does. Interest in storing data within the cloud is significantly higher in younger consumers, with approximately 60 percent of users between the ages of 18-35 interested in moving their data to the cloud. In older age groups, though, that number drops significantly, with only an average of 25 percent of users over the age of 50 interested in moving their data to the cloud.

There are also concerns among consumers about moving their data to the cloud. Nearly two-thirds (61 percent) of consumers surveyed by GfK said that they are concerned about the security of their content if they were to store it in the cloud. Additionally, 47 percent of consumers surveyed said they would never use the cloud unless they have a simple and easy way to store their content, while 39 percent say they are concerned about the ability to play content on different devices from the cloud. This statistic in particular points to the need for greater compatibility and accessibility to content across devices, so that the same content purchased for one device can be accessed across multiple devices.

More information on cloud computing can be found at

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