A Picture of Cloud Computing: How the Cloud is Improving Users’ Lives

cloud computing impacts

A recent cloud computing survey conducted by Harris Poll found that two in five Americans have been impacted by cloud technologies. According to the survey, which included 2,051 individuals, 86 percent of cloud users stated that Web-based systems have improved their lives, particularly at work.


Cloud users by type

The survey found that overall, 39 percent of Americans utilize the cloud, 44 percent of whom reside in the southern states, and 29 percent live in the Midwest. The study showed that of all age groups, millennials – those between 18 and 34 – used the cloud more than others.


Cloud users could also be separated by whether or not they had children, how much money they make yearly, and if they were students or not. Couples with children utilize cloud services more often than households without children, with 52 percent of families using the cloud and 33 percent of childless couples leveraging the platform.


Additionally, those that made more money were more likely to be cloud users. Forty six percent of individuals making $100,000 or more use the cloud, and 53 percent of those who make $75,000 to $99,999 annually use the cloud. On the other hand, only 31 percent of people making $50,000 or less utilize Internet-based platforms.


Furthermore, students and employed individuals used the cloud more than retired and unemployed people. Fifty five percent of students were cloud users, along with 44 percent of those with jobs. Only 24 percent of retired people and 33 percent of unemployed individuals utilize the cloud.


How the cloud improves users’ lives

The survey also noted the top eight ways the cloud helped to improve users’ lives, including the following:

  • Forty one percent said the cloud simplified file sharing
  • Forty one percent stated the cloud brought peace of mind, reducing worries about backing up sensitive data
  • Twenty two percent noted boosted security through cloud usage
  • Eighteen percent said the cloud helped them stay organized at work
  • Fourteen percent pointed out that the cloud can increase collaboration among business professionals


Cloud usage depends on cloud performance

For two in five American cloud users, the above described benefits would not have been possible without reliable cloud performance. InfoWorld’s cloud computing expert David Linthicum noted that cloud performance hinges on network resources, so organizations and individual end users must ensure that their network bandwidth can support the cloud activities they carry out.


“When relying on systems that are connected via the network, the network is everything,” Linthicum wrote. “Slow networks mean slow systems and slow performance.”


In this way, it is sometimes necessary – and often critical – for users to increase network bandwidth to assure the robust performance of cloud systems. Linthicum pointed out that especially with data-heavy cloud services, having adequate bandwidth could mean the difference between reaping all the benefits Web-based programs have to offer, and being cut off from mission-critical resources. Particularly in a business setting, having access to the cloud is essential, and increasing bandwidth is the most effective way to ensure reliable cloud performance.