"Organisations' varied responses when asked to define cloud hosting highlights the current confusion," Rackspace claims. "Most UK businesses (43 percent) defined it as 'remote and multiple servers accessed via the Internet'. In the US this was also the most popular answer (29 percent). "
UK respondents also believed cloud hosting was 'applications via the Internet' (31 percent), 'virtualisation' (14 percent) and 'online storage' (8 percent), with a similar pattern being found in the US. However 27 percent of UK businesses 'don't know how they would use cloud hosting as part of their IT mix'. A third of US businesses (33 percent) agreed with this statement.
Lew Moorman, chief strategy officer, Rackspace Hosting, said: "Cloud technology is ideal for the current economic climate, but it is vital that businesses understand how it can best serve their organisation...Cloud is going to be the hot business topic for 2009 and it is not just IT folk that will need to understand the benefits it brings but people across the business."
To dispel the clouds of misunderstanding about cloud computing, Rackspace has launched a cloud clinic web site "to help demystify the cloud by providing a range of cloud materials and case studies."
Despite the confusion over the definition of cloud hosting, 36 percent of businesses in the UK and 48 percent in the US are 'planning or considering using it'. Reasons for not adopting the cloud in the UK were cited as: cost (25 percent); 'untested, new technology' (14 percent) and reliability (15 percent). In the US businesses are twice (20 percent) as concerned about security and compliance as they are in the UK (10 percent).
The research also found that: 15 percent of UK businesses would use cloud hosting as part of their IT mix for 'extra servers/to boost processing and distribute workload'; 11 percent for data back up and 8 percent for application hosting.