Cloud confusion is still holding businesses back

How can people be expected to sign their companies up for cloud services when so many still don’t know what the technology can do?

The cloud has grown from being a buzzword to become a major part of the enterprise technology landscape, now powering some of the world’s biggest businesses. It appears, however, that large parts of the small and medium-sized business market are still yet to be convinced of its benefits. For a number of reasons, these companies remain hesitant.

It could be argued that the enterprise hold-up is linked to activity in the consumer cloud market; after all, the consumerisation of IT has played a significant part in the emergence of many business trends. So the fact that – according to a new Juniper Networks survey – one-fifth of British consumers either don’t use cloud technology or know what it is could go some way to providing an explanation.

The study also found that 73 per cent of Brits don’t think the cloud has had anything more than a moderate impact on their lives, despite most admitting to regularly using programs like Spotify, Instagram and WhatsApp – all of which are cloud-based.

It seems that confusion is one of the main problems here – many people simply don’t understand what the cloud is and just how important a part it plays in the services they use. Until this is rectified in the consumer market, it’s unlikely to be fully solved among enterprises either.

Interestingly, though, there is a divide when it comes to age. More than half of those under the age of 25 said the cloud has significantly changed their lives, whilst almost two-thirds (65 per cent) of over 55s claimed it had not affected their lives at all.

As this younger group begins to enter the higher reaches of the business ladder, replacing those who currently hold the big C-suite positions, use of the cloud is likely to become much more natural for smaller businesses. Until then, providers must be clear about the services they provide. All the while it’s important to remember that levels of understanding will vary across any group of potential customers.