A couple months back, we surveyed TechSoup members on their views of the cloud. We wanted to know whether you use cloud services, how you used them, and what concerns you have about the cloud. Just under 2,000 people took the survey. One thing that surprised us is that most respondents are satisfied with their cloud services. Here's what else you told us.
According to our survey, a full 64 percent of respondents use cloud-based services at their organizations, and an additional 10.5 percent use cloud services for personal use. Do the math and you'll see that over three-quarters of respondents use cloud services in some way or another.
The majority of survey respondents who use the cloud use it for file storage and productivity. Google Drive was the most popular cloud service: More than 59 percent of those surveyed say they use it. Other popular services include Dropbox and Microsoft OneDrive.
More than 72 percent of respondents said they are satisfied or very satisfied with the cloud services they use. Only 8.5 percent were dissatisfied, while 19.2 percent were neither satisfied nor dissatisfied.
When we asked about the most important reasons to use cloud services, convenience was at the top of peoples' minds. Many respondents described how cloud services let them work on files from home, enable them to share work more easily, and allow multiple people to work on files. Lots of respondents also liked the fact that cloud services reduced the need to manually back up files.
Nearly 38 percent of respondents cited security as their biggest worry regarding the cloud. That concern is understandable given the sheer number of security flaws and data breaches that you hear about on a regular basis. Close to 17 percent are concerned about a lack of IT support, whereas 12.6 percent find it hard to get a handle on their files using the cloud. An additional 10.2 percent cited slow Internet speeds as a concern.
The big companies that host our applications and critical data online have teams of cybersecurity engineers that use state-of-the-art tools and techniques to guard against intrusion and data theft. They also offer tools we can use to set up safeguards such as two-factor authentication and data loss prevention policies. In addition, major cloud service providers provide techniques to make sure only authorized devices can access our data.
See TechSoup's article, Increase Your Nonprofit's Security Using the Microsoft Cloud, for more information on how that works in the case of Microsoft Cloud Services. And find TechSoup's cloud-based product donations and discounts at our Cloud Computing Products page.
I think our concept of "The cloud" should be broadened to include any data (or programs,aka apps) that do not reside solely on thelocal hard drive. An example is browser based email, etc.
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