Cloud storage—which allows users to store content for access from any device, anywhere, at any time—is a hot topic. And in a May 2014 study by Harris Interactive for SOASTA, 39% of US internet users reported using the cloud. Of this group, 86% said the cloud had “improved the lives of Americans who work.”
Easier file-sharing and less worries about backing up data were the top two ways the cloud improved life, according to users, each cited by 41%. But results indicated that the cloud was also used for the fun parts of life, with 40% of cloud-using respondents saying the service helped them share photos with family and friends and 37% citing access to music anywhere as a benefit. Despite nearly nine in 10 users saying the cloud improved the lives of those who worked, just 18% said it made their job easier, and 14% said it helped collaboration with co-workers.
Estimates released by Juniper Research in May 2014 put the number of consumer cloud-based service users—unique users who access cloud services via broadband devices for apps, storage and backup, games, social media, and email—at 2.4 billion worldwide in 2013. The firm forecast that this total would rise to 3.6 billion by 2018.
Looking at cloud usage via mobile specifically, March 2014 polling by B2X Care Solutions and Motorola found that one-fifth of US smartphone users used cloud services on their phones, while a slightly more impressive 29% of tablet owners did so on such devices.