Cloud Computing: What Americans Know, and Don't Know, About the Technology

 
 
By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2012-09-05
 
 
 

Toilet Paper

At least one respondent to the survey listed toilet paper as what comes to mind when they think of the cloud or cloud computing. The folks at Kruger Products, maker of White Cloud bath tissue, must be doing a bang-up marketing job.

Toilet Paper

Pillow

At least one respondent to the survey listed a pillow as what they think of when they think of the cloud or cloud computing. Perhaps they were a bit sleepy when they took the survey, but all they could think of was a nice, fluffy pillow.

Pillow

Smoke

Smoke was listed as another image that came to mind. Despite mountains of evidence that cloud computing is driving economic and productivity benefits, some continue to see it as nothing but smoke and mirrors. Or maybe they just see it as an amorphous, foggy thing they can't grasp—like smoke.

Smoke

Space

"Outer space" came to the mind of at least one survey respondent. Maybe that's because the cloud can enable users to boldly go where no man has gone before?

Space

Cyber-Space

Getting a little warmer, some respondents listed cyber-space as what comes to mind when talking about the cloud. This one is not far off and is in many ways an accurate description of the basics of the cloud.

Cyber-Space

Mysterious Network

The idea of a "mysterious network" was raised by at least one respondent. To many, this is exactly what the cloud is. They don't want or need to know what all is involved, just as long as their devices work and they can do their thing.

Mysterious Network

Unreliable

The cloud doesn't always inspire confidence. At least one respondent said they thought of the cloud as "unreliable." Is the cloud unreliable? Only when it goes down. Despite the headaches outages have caused, those instances are relatively rare.

Unreliable

Security

Some respondents see the cloud as a security measure, while others see just the opposite.

Security

Sadness

Apparently, the cloud can be pretty emotional; at least one respondent said that the cloud makes them think of sadness. Not sure I get this one, unless it's to refer to the gloom some feel on a cloudy day. Don't worry: As Annie says, the sun will come out tomorrow.

Sadness

Relaxed

Cloud computing can also be relaxing, according to some respondents. Maybe because the cloud enables you to relax and leave all the infrastructure worries to somebody else, it can be relaxing.

Relaxed

Overused

The cloud—or at least the phrase "cloud computing"—is overused, according to survey respondents. The term may certainly be overused, but the cloud itself is not.

Overused

Oh Goody, a Hackers Dream

That was how one respondent reacted to the idea of cloud computing. Enough said.

Oh Goody, a Hackers Dream

Storage

The response of storage made sense. It was an apt response, as Amazon Web Services and others have made lucrative businesses around cloud storage.

Storage

Movies

There's also apparently some entertainment value in the cloud. At least one survey respondent listed "movies" as what they think of when they think of cloud computing. The cloud is a good place to store your movies and other media.

Movies

Money

Money also is a factor in the cloud, according to respondents. There is definitely money to be made in the cloud. Just look at all the players involved and how the market continues to consolidate. It's all about the Benjamins, baby.

Money

Memory

"Memory" also stuck in the head of some survey respondents. Indeed, memory-based architectures are in vogue in the cloud, with folks like Oracle's Coherence, Terracotta, VMware GemFire and others adding to cloud platforms.

Memory

Back-Up

Some respondents also came up with the apt response of "back-up." Again, a good way to think of the cloud, as many rely on it to back up systems and data. Back that thang up!

Back-Up

Joy

Along with sadness, the cloud also apparently evokes joy, at least in some respondents. Not sure where this is coming from. Maybe the fluffy coconut in an Almond Joy candy bar reminds some of a cloud? Or maybe there's joy above the clouds?

Joy

Innovation

Innovation is a key to the cloud, according to some people. The cloud does indeed spur innovation. Many of today's hottest startups were born on the cloud, such as GoodData, Instagram and Pinterest to name a few.

Innovation

Drugs

At least one respondent listed "drugs" as what springs to mind when they think of the cloud. Some people just want to go to cloud 9.

Drugs

Heaven

There apparently also is an other-worldly aspect to cloud computing, with at least one respondent listing "heaven" as the thought that cloud computing evokes. When the cloud is working as advertised, some CIOs may feel like they're in heaven.

Heaven

A Place to Meet

The cloud also can be social, with some seeing it as a place to meet. Maybe the cloud is the new mall.

A Place to Meet

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