48% of IT workers didn't know the meaning of the term, while 54% of respondents that use apps like Gmail or Salesforce.com didn't recognize them as cloud-based, according to a Virtacore survey of midsize businesses.
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In spite of widespread forecasts for continued growth of the cloud, nearly two-thirds of respondents in a recent survey of midsize businesses said they didn't understand what the term meant.
The survey, commissioned by cloud service provider Virtacore Systems, polled 210 representatives of companies with between 100 and 1,000 employees. Roughly one-third of the respondents identified themselves as members of IT departments, while the other two-thirds indicated they were on the "business" side -- in functions such as sales, finance, or management. But therein lay one of the more interesting discoveries: Nearly half (48%) of those in IT operations said they did not have a clear understanding of the cloud.
"We knew there was a need," said Kevin Burke, Virtacore's vice president of sales and marketing. "This survey was beyond even what we thought." Virtacore focuses on midsize companies as its target market.
One of the survey's questions asked: "Do you feel that the cloud has potential for your business?" 49% answered: "I don't know." 48% likewise responded "I don't know" when asked if their company used any cloud-based applications or services.
Google in the Enterprise SurveyThere's no doubt Google has made headway into businesses: Just 28 percent discourage or ban use of its productivity products, and 69 percent cite Google Apps' good or excellent mobility. But progress could still stall: 59 percent of nonusers distrust the security of Google's cloud. Its data privacy is an open question, and 37 percent worry about integration.