NPD Study Shows Most Consumers Clueless on Cloud Computing

Based on interesting new research from NPD Group , a leading market research company, it appears that the general population is generally clueless about what cloud computing is all about.

According to the survey, just 22 percent of U.S. consumers were familiar with the term “cloud computing,” which denotes software applications or processes that are accessed from the Internet, rather than on personal computer hard drives.

While the term “cloud computing” is still confusing to many consumers, the activities that constitute cloud computing are being performed by the vast majority of consumers.

Despite the confusion, more than three quarters of U.S. respondents in NPD’s “Digital Software and the Cloud Report” revealed using some type of Internet-based cloud service in the past 12 months – email, tax preparation, online gaming, etc.

“Whether they understand the terminology or not, consumers are actually pretty savvy in their use of cloud-based applications,” said Stephen Baker, vice president of industry analysis for NPD. “They might not always recognize they are performing activities in the cloud, yet they still rely on and use those services extensively. Even so, they are not yet ready to completely give up on traditional PC-based software applications.”

NPD says that the information in the report was derived from an online survey fielded in May 2011 to a representative sample of 1,822 U.S. adults.