Cloud computing causing confused consumers chaos

According to research, cloud technology still has most people scratching their heads.

Juniper Networks today released the findings of its survey of over 2,000 UK consumers, and the results are compelling.

Read more: 10 major cloud computing terms you need to know

21.8 per cent of participants said that they either don't use the cloud or don't know what it is, despite the fact that it helps power some of the biggest companies in the world. Worryingly, the same people admitted to spending lots of time on Instagram, WhatsApp and Spotify, which are all cloud-based.

Shockingly, a massive 73 per cent of respondents believe that the cloud has made either no difference or a moderate difference to their lives.

While businesses – especially startups – identify cost savings as cloud computing's ultimate offering, the same doesn't apply to consumers. 31 per cent said that "peace of mind" from data backup is the best aspect of the technology, with the ability to access files from anywhere and at any time (30 per cent) a close second.

17 per cent cited the ability to access the same information across multiple devices as the most useful aspect of cloud computing.

Interestingly, where the cloud is concerned, there appears to be a drastic divide between younger and older consumers. 54 per cent of participants in the survey under the age of 25 said that the cloud had either completely or significantly changed their lives, while 65 per cent of those above the age of 55 said that it had made "no difference" to their lives.

"There appears to be a significant lack of consumer awareness of cloud technology and its benefits, despite many survey respondents who are happy to input their personal and private information on to cloud-based applications such as DropBox and Evernote," said Nigel Oakley, the director of data centre and cloud technologies for EMEA at Juniper Networks.

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"As our research confirms, consumers can benefit from a much richer online experience if their digital life is based upon an intelligent cloud powered by a High-IQ Network, which automatically knows where and how to protect their data. Juniper believes that, as more and more time is spent online at work, at home and while travelling, the reliability, security and performance of cloud-based networks must keep pace accordingly."

ITProPortal will soon be publishing a series that will set about translating cloud jargon into something we all can understand. Tune in over the next couple of weeks for more.