Does cloud computing need to be clarified more for the public to understand?

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Although cloud computing is a hot topic in the technology industry, it's struggling to make an impact with the public. A recent poll of 1,000 U.S. citizens by the European cloud company Webfusion said only 25% had an understanding what 'cloud' means. Does cloud computing need to be  clarified more to make it easier to the public to understand? What steps can we take to make it clearer?

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Thanks in large part to the marketing departments at IT/security product vendors, many people working in IT aren’t even clear on what “cloud” means.

The reality is, “cloud” has a different meaning to different people and I don’t know that the general public will ever have a true grasp of all the technical details. Does it really matter in the end?

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  • TomLiotta
    A recent poll of 1,000 U.S. citizens by the European cloud company Webfusion said 25% had no understanding what 'cloud' means.   The linked article said that 25% had a 'clear grasp'. I didn't see a number for "no understanding", but it might be inferred from other numbers. Personally, I find "25%" for 'clear grasp' hard to believe unless the sample was chosen from a population of IT pros.   A few decades ago, I had few problems making many kinds of repairs in the engine compartments of my cars. By the time 1970s and later models became the norm, I started losing track of what all the stuff was under the hood. Now, I don't even want to mess with anything that looks like it might be a 'spark plug'. There was a time I did my own valve jobs.   Today's engine compartments are less complex than an actual 'cloud' environment. The user interfaces in both cases can usually be grasped. But,... a 'clear understanding'? It just doesn't seem likely.   Tom
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  • philpl1jb
    I agree with Tom.I really don't understand how a computer works .. there's something happening in the transistor that's electro-chemical-mechanical that I've never grasped.  Short of designing transistors it doesn't seem necessary to grasp it.   I can continue to use my analogs to the cams and gears in Babbage's machine to design and develop my programs.  His machine is in my cloud, what's in yours.Newton could describe gravity but he didn't understand it!Phil
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  • philpl1jb
    ButNewtonDidn'tHaveAProblemWithCarrageReturns.
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  • TomLiotta
    There are degrees of understanding. I'd consider 'clear grasp' to indicate solid decision-making capability for an organization. An individual who's heard that GMail, iTunes and similar apps have a basis in 'cloud' technologies wouldn't qualify. But someone who can determine if various applications that exist in an organization can effectively be migrated to a 'cloud' environment and articulate the pros and cons could have a 'clear grasp', IMO. -- Tom
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  • philpl1jb
    "I would imagine that if you could understand Morse code, a tap dancer would drive you crazy."     Mitch Hedberg
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  • philpl1jb
    ok .. Newton had an operational understanding of gravity ..
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  • TomLiotta
    “The problem with quotes on the internet is you never know if they are genuine.” ― Joseph Stalin
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  • philpl1jb
    "I really didn't say everything I said" . by Yogi Berra
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  • carlosdl
    Do we really need the general public to understand it? why?
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  • TomLiotta
    I like carlosdl's question. What's the point of the public 'understanding' a 'cloud'? Most don't 'understand' what an OS does, so why is a 'cloud' meaningful? Discussing a need to clarify for the public implies some objective. A 'need' will be tied to some desire. So, what's the objective as far as the public is concerned? -- Tom
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  • philpl1jb
    I, too, like Carlos's response.                       
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