While cloud computing is becoming increasingly popular, many users remain unaware of the cloud’s advantages and features, according to a recent study conducted by research firm GfK.
In addition, many users considering adoption of cloud-based solutions are concerned about cloud security, the research found.
The study, which polled approximately 1,000 users, was presented at the recent CTIA Wireless show in Orlando, Florida. According to its findings, 61 percent of users are concerned about the security of their data, if they were to store it in the cloud.
In addition, 47 percent of those surveyed indicated they would not be willing to use cloud computing solutions unless they incorporated an easy way to store content. Thirty-seven percent of respondents, meanwhile, expressed concern about interoperability between devices.
Rob Barrish, senior vice president of business and technology for GfK, said many user concerns are related to the unprecedented volumes of data being stored by enterprises and individuals alike. “When rolling out cloud-based services, it will be important for marketers to keep in mind that consumers want to be able to access content on all of their devices across multiple platforms,” Barrish said.
Furthermore, since cloud security is a key concern for such a large number of users, “marketers need to address this up-front when communicating the benefits of using cloud-based apps and services,” he added.
The GfK study also found a general lack of awareness about cloud computing among many users. According to the study, approximately half of those surveyed are aware of cloud computing. Just nine percent of respondents, however, said they have a full understanding of the concept of cloud computing.
While cloud security is a major concern for any organization or individual looking to store important data in the cloud, the types of threat may not be as unique a concern as some have suggested. In a recent report for Network World, IT security expert Sean Martin acknowledged that many cloud security issues are similar to threats that existed before the advent of cloud computing.
According to Martin, some have argued that, “because we’ve decided to put our information, applications and infrastructures in the hands of cloud providers, we all of a sudden have to worry about trust.” The reality, however, is that “we’ve always had to worry about trust,” he said.
Martin claimed many businesses have placed blind faith in service providers, “in the absence of being able to prove that the trust was, and still is, warranted.” Companies with traditional IT infrastructures needed to worry about “insider threats,” an issue very similar to the trust needed for effective cloud computing deployment, he said.