What are Today’s Consumers Expecting from the Cloud?

b2ap3_thumbnail_cloud_expectations_400.jpgA few short years ago, it seemed like one of our primary missions was to educate the public on the benefits of cloud computing. Now, almost everyone uses the cloud (whether they fully understand it or not), and, they’ve developed expectations on what the cloud should do. If a cloud service isn’t meeting these expectations, then consumers will find another one that does.

The primary expectations that today’s consumers look for in a cloud service is that it’s available and reliable. In fact, the expectation of a cloud service’s availability seems to trump even that of preferring one piece of hardware over another. This is one example of just how much cloud computing has completely changed the way that consumers view technology.

Think about it, not too long ago computer users were driven to have their home PC be the fastest and most powerful machine they could afford. For most consumers, their home PC was their only computer, and forget about accessing work-related files on the average cell phone in the days before the iPhone. Today, the average consumer compliments their home PC with multiple mobile devices, and having the best desktop possible is no longer a status symbol.

The cloud changed this computing paradigm by allowing users to easily access and work on important files from any device, anywhere. Subsequently, the reliability and availability of cloud software is what’s making all of this possible. Today, the average user could care less about what kind of device they’re working from, so long as it can easily connect to their cloud account and has enough resources to allow them to work on their cloud-hosted project with minimum downtime.

Once someone experiences just how much easier cloud computing makes everything, it’s hard to go back to a bulky system like transporting files via USB thumb drive and manually syncing devices. Essentially, the ease of the cloud has raised the bar of consumer expectations so that users now cringe if a software issue can’t be resolved by just a few clicks, and consumers become absolutely befuddled if a necessary software application isn’t available in the cloud or if it doesn’t have a mobile app.

To give you an idea of what today’s consumers expect from the cloud, we want to share this list of consumer expectations from ZDNet tech blogger David Gewirtz. In this list, Gewirtz is speaking on behalf of the average tech consumer.

  • Some cloud services are free, but we expect premium upgrades.
  • If paid services are involved, we expect to easily and smoothly add or remove services merely with a mouse-click and a credit card.
  • As soon as a service plan's capacity is reached (or just before), we expect the service to offer us an upgrade, not require us to go hunting to make things work.
  • We also expect fees to be tiered, so that each new tier provides more value than the last, with an incremental fee or jump.
  • Fees are usually all-you-can-eat for a year or smoothly scalable as soon as more capacity is needed.
  • We expect to be able to use the service on any compatible machine.
  • And we generally expect the service to work on pretty much anything.
  • We expect all our service-related data to just be there, wherever we are. How that happens is not our problem.
  • Installation is a click or a login. That's it. It's just there. There are no longer installers, updaters, zip files or other things to download and run on the desktop. Just click and run.

There you have it. Cloud computing has made everything so easy that we’ve come to expect the availability and reliability of the cloud to accompany virtually every one of our computing endeavors. Has the cloud revolutionized your business in such a way? It has to power to do so; call White Mountain IT Services at 603-889-0800 to learn more.

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