Do your customers really understand the cloud?

Do your customers really understand the cloud?

June 20

It’s difficult to admit to not knowing how something works, and it’s easy in the technology world to assume that others understand what you’re talking about. The word “cloud” is thrown around often, but a person might have trouble admitting he or she doesn’t understand what it really is.

We would hate for our customers, colleagues, and friends to feel silly that they don’t know what the cloud actually is, and we’d like to assume most people don’t think that it is actually a cloud in the sky, but that may not be the case.

According to CRN, a survey by Wakefield Research and Citrix revealed that a lot of people are in the dark about what cloud is, how it works, and how frequently they actually use it.

Only 16 percent of those surveyed answered correctly when selecting the appropriate definition for the cloud. The majority (28 percent) answered that it is literally a cloud in the sky, or something related to weather, while another 17 percent had answers claiming it was anything from a mysterious network, to toilet paper, to outer space.

Of those surveyed, 22 percent admitted to pretending they understand what the cloud is and, of those that admitted to pretending, 33 percent admitted they pretended to understand it at work, 14 percent during a job interview, and 17 percent on a first date (sounds like a sexy first date chat to me).

If these numbers hold true on a larger scale, it could be upwards of one in five of your customers that might be pretending to understand what the cloud actually is. The tough thing is explaining things to individual customers without offending the intelligence of the ones that do understand. The bottom line is that everybody that uses computers should understand what it means to compute with the cloud. Many use the cloud without even realizing it, and some might be paying money for services they don’t fully understand.

The best thing to do is simply ask clients what they know about the cloud. Explain that you’ve had a few other clients that weren’t exactly clear on what the cloud is, and tell them you just want to make sure they understand. If they do then great, but if not, explain how it works in simple terms. Cloud computing offers many benefits to your clients, but you should be sure they all understand what they’re getting when they use it.

Photo Credit: Horia Varlan via Compfight cc