Cloud: Just Meaningless Jargon?

Cloud Computing Confusion
A survey conducted in the United Kingdom by Webfusion revealed that the majority, around two thirds, do not understand what cloud computing is. Many people will have heard of the “cloud” as a term banded around, but the vast majority do not really know what the cloud is or what it is there for, let alone how it can facilitate business.

The poll was conducted using one thousand people – where only a third claimed to have a real understanding when they were asked the question “When it comes to computers, do you understand what ‘cloud’ means?” A good 28.5% claimed that they had absolutely no idea whilst 18% claimed to have some notion.

It is quite likely that those who claimed to have a “clear understanding” were not being entirely truthful. The problem is, that cloud computing has come to encompass a range of different IT topics, which makes matters very confusing for the non-connaisseur. To really get around this problem, the word “cloud” needs to be clarified and applied to the actual areas of technology that it concerns. There needs to be a significant move from the general to the specific.

So, instead of saying that a company is moving its IT systems to the “cloud”, say what you’re actually doing, for instance, moving to a system of managed servers, or moving towards file sharing and so on. Most companies, especially non-specialist ones don’t have a clue about what the cloud actually is, anyway. It’s like when the internet first came out in the 90’s and many confused email, internet, intranet, web etc, resulting in many people referring to one when they meant the other.

The problem is however, that whilst companies see the “cloud” as a golden term; a miracle cure; some sort of Holy Grail, it is unlikely to go away. On the contrary, it is a term which will find itself in the media, advertisements and so on. The term will be a meaningless umbrella term encompassing a lot of very different terms, thus having not much meaning at all.

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