Report: Cloud awareness higher in emerging countries

Cloud computing awareness is on the rise, as more organizations adopt the technology in an attempt to remain competitive with rival firms. A new survey of roughly 15,000 computer users by Business Software Alliance and Ipsos Public Affairs revealed that roughly 45 percent of individuals around the globe know what the cloud is and how it can enhance business efficiency.

The study also noted, however, that this understanding is not on the same level throughout the world, as roughly 50 percent of people in emerging markets, such as Thailand and Peru, know what cloud storage is, compared to only 33 percent in mature economies like the United States and the U.K. This is creating what is sometimes called the "leapfrog effect," in which a lot of new computer and IT users are jumping headfirst into the cloud.

"Emerging economies are smaller markets than mature economies, at least for now," BSA president and CEO Robert Holleyman said. "But they appear to be just as ready to adopt paid cloud computing services. That's a promising sign for the global cloud computing market."

A separate report by MarketsandMarkets revealed that the global cloud market is forecast to expand at a compound annual growth rate of more than 26 percent through 2015, at which point it will generate more than $121 billion in revenue. This represents a significant jump from the $37 billion vendors made in 2010.

How the cloud is used around the world

The study also revealed that roughly 88 percent of global cloud users leverage the technology for personal tasks, while 33 percent said they utilize the hosted service for business purposes.

On a more troubling note, however, the survey found that roughly 42 percent of business paid cloud service users said they share their login credentials with colleagues, though this happens less frequently in mature markets.

"This is eye-opening data," Holleyman said. "It doesn't necessarily mean 42 percent of business users are pirating cloud services. Some licenses may allow sharing of accounts - and many cloud service providers charge not by 'seat' but by the volume of computing resources consumed, making the path users take to access those resources less important."

Although roughly 56 percent of business cloud users believe it is wrong to share credentials, they don't necessarily stop it, suggesting service-level agreements need to be more adamant about the restriction.

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