CES 2013: CEA Presents Consumer Attitudes Toward the Cloud

Jessica Boothe, CEA manager of strategic research, presented the findings of her recently completed research “Cloud Computing and the Implications for Consumer Tech” at a Monday afternoon CEA Research Summit session. While the majority of online adults are using cloud resources, they overwhelmingly associate the term “cloud” only with storage and primarily use the resources for personal activities, rather than work.

The research indicates that 96 percent of online adults are using cloud resources such as Pandora, Spotify, Hulu, online banking, Dropbox and Google Docs.

Consumers consider the following reasons for deciding to use cloud resources either “very important” or “important”: easy to use (82 percent), reliable (81 percent), free (81 percent) convenient (80 percent), and secure (79 percent).  Secure had the highest “very important” rating, at 69 percent. Women valued all of these reasons, except “free,” slightly higher than men did.

Survey results point out that 19 percent identify themselves as “cloud savvy.” Their demographic profile is male, age 35, early tech adopter. The cloud savvy are likely to make use of a variety of cloud based resources on a wider range of platforms than the average user. They value “secure” and “free” much less than the average user, and “connected” much more.

Overall, there is a clear need to help consumers understand what cloud services are. Until there is a concerted effort to do so, the self-identified cloud savvy users will influence, for better or for worse, what their friends, family and coworkers understand about the cloud.

Computers and portable electronics are the top CE devices consumers are currently using to access cloud services. CEA believes that this will likely expand into the home with TVs, DVD players and game devices, as well as move further outside the home, as consumers become more comfortable using the cloud.

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