Wednesday, 10 August 2016

Investigating consumers’ reluctance to give up local hard drives after adopting the Cloud

an article by Joanne E. McNeish, Anthony Francescucci and Ummaha Hazra (Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada) published in Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society Volumer 14 Issue 2 (2016)


The next phase of hardware technology development is focused on alternative ways to manage and store consumers’ personal content. However, even consumers who have adopted Cloud-based services have demonstrated a reluctance to move all of their personal content into the Cloud and continue to resist giving up local hard drives. This paper aims to investigate the characteristics of local hard drives and the Cloud that lead to simultaneous use.

This paper uses content analysis of online comments and ten depth interviews with simultaneous users of local hard drives and the Cloud.

Three factors influence the resistance to giving up local hard drives. Simultaneous users utilize local hard drives as a redundancy system and as a way to ensure the permanence of their digital content. They are unsure of the Cloud’s ability to support their content creation, management and storage activities (task-technology fit).

Research limitations/implications
Study findings are based on qualitative methods and thus the results cannot be considered conclusive.

Practical implications
The authors speculate that it is unlikely that Cloud-only will fully replace hard drives until these factors are understood and addressed by information technology developers. Cloud service providers may not be aware of how little that users understand the Cloud. In contrast to their certainty and confidence in local hard drives, simultaneous users are confused as to what the Cloud is and how it functions. This uncertainty exacerbates their risk perception and need for control.

This is the first study exploring simultaneous use of local hard drives and the Cloud with a view to understanding this behaviour in terms of the relative advantage of the incumbent technology over the new technology.

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