Jun 07, 2016

Every so often, something comes along that revolutionizes the way business is done. As with any new technique or technology, there are forward­-thinking individuals who quickly adopt the innovation. There are also those who join in once they see the impact it's having on others. Finally, there are the stubborn ones who accept the changes only if they have to.

Computer technology is at the top of the list in examples of these types of advances in business. Everything from the initial acceptance of computers and the internet itself right up through social media and VoIP has seen this stratification of user responses.

The current technology that is slogging through this process of adoption is the Cloud. From the moment it arrived, some people saw the potential and bought into it without hesitation. Presently, it's a good estimate to say that we are in the middle stage, the zone that is populated with people who will accept it but don't want to get burned by the growing pains of its initial arrival. And finally, there are those who will wait until much later.

For each of these groups, there are issues about Cloud security that need to be addressed. Guiding them through these issues will help the first users to maximize the benefits of the Cloud, while it will help the other two groups to catch up.

The Early Adopters

These users push to the front of the crowd, ready to take on the latest technology. When they do, they can encounter some issues that require their attention. So for this group, the focus is on not losing sight of basic security issues in the rush to pick up the latest and greatest.

In the rush to jump aboard with Cloud technology, these eager users can sometimes go a little lax on security. They need to be reminded that purchasing and properly managing virtualization security is just as important as utilizing the Cloud at all.

With the Cloud's immense space, companies are likely to gather and retain more information about customers. They must be careful not to do so before security is in place.

Another great advantage of the Cloud is remote access. Personnel in the field will love being able to access all of their files and information from anywhere that the work may take them. Of course, it's very important that their passwords are strong and that they are accessing via trusted networks.

The Cautious Majority

Research indicates that the early adopters and an even more aggressive group, the innovators, make up around 16% of the market. The middle group, the early majority and the late majority, tally around 68%.

The angle on security for this group is a little different. While the earliest groups most likely have security issues because they overlook it in their excitement for advancement, this middle group is most likely looking at security as the main reason why they will not yet take on the technology.

So what they need to get is a nuts­-and­-bolts understanding of how effective the security systems are. It takes a common­-sense approach and some patience, but once they're convinced, they're on board.

These users may not be at the absolute cutting edge of marketing or other business strategies because of this reluctance, but in time, they'll see the same benefits from Cloud technology in terms of its size, effectiveness, and accessibility ­­as well as security.

The Laggards

Finally, we have the group bringing up the rear, known in the research as the Laggards. They are highly skeptical of new ideas, prefer to stick with the tried and true, and will only move forward with new ideas when dragged there kicking and screaming.

The approach to educate these users must be very different. Their conservative ideas are usually rooted in a bad experience that is a good reason for their cautiousness.

The important thing to impress upon these users is that while the Cloud is very different from what they're accustomed to, it is no less vulnerable and no more difficult to use. With proper training, they'll feel right at home.

The most important step in convincing someone to do something is to see things from their perspective, to understand their motivations, and to show them how the change can benefit them while still feeling comfortable to them. The Cloud is undeniably the future of computing, so every computer user­­early adopter, laggard, or someone in between­­ needs to take it on.