en_US / Resources / White Paper

The Cloud Demystified

By Carmen P. Fleischauer, Citrix ShareFile

Do you really know what the cloud is? 22% of people say they’ve pretended to understand how the cloud works.

An honest look at the perception of the cloud A recent infographic by Citrix illuminated many misconceptions surrounding cloud computing. The Citrix cloud study conducted by Wakefield Research used over a thousand participants age 18 and older. The study showed that 54 percent of people polled say they hardly ever or never use the cloud, 51 percent believe the weather can affect cloud computing and 22 percent say they’ve pretended to understand how the cloud works.

Although many were in the dark about the cloud, 95 percent of participants use cloud services, often without realizing it. Well-known services like Facebook, Gmail and YouTube are all cloud based. Some even see the cloud as a “thing of the future,” when in reality, it is already pervasive in our society.

According to Citrix, “This survey clearly shows that the cloud phenomenon is taking root in our mainstream culture, yet there is still a wide gap between the perceptions and realities of cloud computing. While significant market changes like this take time, the transition from the PC era to the cloud era is happening at a remarkable pace. The most important takeaway from this survey is that the cloud is viewed favorably by the majority of Americans, and when people learn more about the cloud they understand it can vastly improve the balance between their work and personal lives.”

The study showed that 54 percent of people polled say they hardly ever or never use the cloud, 51 percent believe the weather can affect cloud computing and 22 percent say they’ve pretended to understand how the cloud works.

What is the cloud?

While cloud computing has been around for quite some time, using “the cloud” as a name for the concept has only recently become popular in mainstream computing. You can’t avoid hearing about the cloud with the many advertisements from companies that are getting on board with the trend. While it may sound mysterious, “the cloud” is actually a very simple way to describe Internet computing that occurs outside a personal or corporate firewall.

The most common definition asserts that it is Internetbased computing where shared resources, software and information are supplied to users on demand. Essentially, users are now able to consume computing power, applications and data. Gone are the days of using a floppy disk or a CD to share information. Immediacy of delivery through the medium of the Internet is achieved for any imaginable application.

Those who use services with app stores have come to expect the seamless transmission between their locally run applications and data and information from the Internet. The beauty of cloud computing is that users have convenient, on-demand access to shared, configurable resources that are able to be set up and maintained with minimal management effort. The work anywhere concept can be realized because of the convenience of the cloud. Today’s users are able to connect to a variety of services at any time, from anywhere.

Business benefits of moving to the cloud

Cloud computing will have a major impact on how business is conducted. Cloud services provide an easy, costeffective solution to problematic business functions, and many businesses have turned to the cloud to drive down costs.

Using the cloud for storage and file sharing is rapidly becoming a preferred solution for businesses. Cloud storage reduces stress on your computer’s hard drive and allows access to files no matter what device is being used. With anytime access, plus an easy way to send files internally or to clients, cloud storage and file sharing are important to keeping business running smoothly.

With anytime access, plus an easy way to send files internally or to clients, cloud storage and file sharing are important to keeping business running smoothly.

According to a recent article by Technology Personalized, businesses that employ cloud services are more successful in dealing with clients and prospective clients due to collaboration abilities. Having everything in a central location that is accessible via computer or mobile device means easy wins for companies. Mobility is also a huge selling point for the cloud. The ability to access information from any device at any time can make a difference in time-sensitive interactions.

In addition to collaboration, security, backup and data protection are big selling points for businesses considering a cloud service. Many cloud services use very robust security precautions, often making them safer than a computer’s hard drive.

Because cloud services are typically sold to users on a subscription basis, this gives the ability to tailor needs from month to month, and end the service if it isn’t working out. Using the cloud for business functions protects data, documents and company information from hackers and computer crashes and can be the formula for a successful business.

Citrix ShareFile: A convenient cloud storage solution for any business

Citrix ShareFile is a business-grade solution for securely sharing and storing files and online collaboration via the cloud. Built specifically for business, ShareFile allows users to send and receive large files up to 100 GB. Robust security precautions make it easy to trust ShareFile as the choice for business file sharing. With solutions for a variety of industries, ShareFile is the right choice for your business.

+ Easy-to-use interface, easily integrated into your workflow

+ Mobile tools, allow you to access your files on the go

+ Dedicated account manager to help with setup and support

+ Tracking and alerts to confirm that clients have received files

+ Files encrypted in transfer and storage

+ Customizable security settings and granular folder permissions

ShareFile is made with your business in mind. We know the concerns of our customers, and we’ve worked hard to provide a solution that is easy to use and adaptable to a variety of needs.

Contact ShareFile by calling 1-800-441-3453 for a free demo, or sign up for a 30-day trial to see whether ShareFile is the right cloud solution for you.

Ready to try ShareFile? It's free for 30 days. No credit card required.

Related Information