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4/22/2010
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Cloud Computing Leaves Consumers Cold

More than half of adults surveyed disagreed with the concept that files stored online are safer than files stored locally on a hard drive.

U.S. adults remain distrustful of cloud computing services that would let them store, edit, or play digital content, a survey shows.

A March survey of 2,320 online adults found that from 55% to 69% of the respondents would be only somewhat or not at all interested in using cloud computing for pictures, music, office documents, videos, or financial services, such as tax files or bank records, Harris Interactive said.

E-mail was the one exception, with just under half of the people surveyed saying they would be extremely, or very interested, or interested in using cloud computing for this service.

One of the main issues the respondents had with cloud computing is security. Four in five of the respondents agreed that security was a concern. Only a quarter said they would trust a cloud-computing service for files with personal information, while three in five said they would not.

Fully 58% of the people surveyed disagreed with the concept that files stored online were safer than files stored locally on a hard drive and 57% would did not trust that their files are safe online.

Nevertheless, more than three in five online Americans agreed that having access to all their files wherever they are, a major advantage of cloud-computing services, would make their lives easier.

Harris concludes from its findings that cloud computing makes sense to online Americans, who understand the benefits of online services. Providers, however, will need to address security concerns and build more trust with potential customers.

While consumers are reluctant to sign up for cloud-computing services, corporations are embracing the new paradigm. Recent market research for the venture capital firm, the Sand Hill Group, found that the majority of chief information officers surveyed expected to spend 7% or more of their budget on cloud computing in three years, compared to 0% to 3% today.

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