Fascinating article. I had honestly never considered my ‘digital legacy’ before reading this and feel very behind-the-curve after finding out how many people have already done so. Can it really be true that a third of UK adults have ‘considered’ their digital legacy? Maybe even more interesting – about 10% of people have left passwords to their digital existence online. it will be hard to organise a Facebook funeral without that information!
NB: Nigel Beighton (EMEA CTO, Rackspace) will be speaking at the ecommerce Networking Forum, (#eCloud), London 1st November. This is a by-invitation forum for key executives from the multi-channel retail community to meet, discuss issues of common interest with their peers, exchange ideas, and do business. CXOs and ecommerce directors from House of Fraser, Tesco.com, Glasses Direct, Habitat, Matthew Williamson, Secret Sales, The Hut Group, Chemist Direct, and Groupon are already amongst the confirmed participants. If you are a CIO, CTO, CFO or Director of ecommerce you should give some serious thought to getting there too.
Many UK adults now identify a ‘digital inheritance’
Rackspace® Hosting (NYSE: RAX) has announced findings from a study into Britain’s ‘connected lives’. The survey indicates that British users could have at least £2.3bn worth of personal videos, music, books and photos stored in the cloud. The survey also suggests that 31 per cent of UK adults have considered what they might pass on to family members in terms of what is now being defined as their personal ‘digital inheritance’.
The study, ‘Generation Cloud’, commissioned by Rackspace in association with the centre for Creative and Social Technology (CAST) at Goldsmiths, University of London, reveals that a generation of British users – two-thirds of respondents (66 per cent) – use cloud computing services without even realising it. The exploration was supported by quantitative research into attitudes and behaviour regarding the cloud among 2,000 UK adults.
The study also identified:
- 11 per cent of respondents have addressed their digital entities with care – e.g. they have left passwords to their digital treasures in their will – or are at least planning to do so
- Over half (53 per cent) have what they consider ‘treasured possessions’ stored with cloud services.
- Two-thirds (66 per cent) of us have our head in the clouds – we are unaware we regularly use the cloud (even though 1 in 10 (11%) spend more than an average of 5 hours a day in it – more than 76 days in total over a year)
As part of the survey, CAST identified four distinct cloud user profiles which include:
- Head in the Clouds: The most common new social profile which represents 66 per cent of online respondents who are cloud users but don’t think or don’t know they are.
- e-Hoarder: Representing almost one in ten of the respondents (8 per cent), these people are completely immersed in the cloud and use it to stash everything for safekeeping, and sometimes to keep their physical space tidy. They are as digitally disorganised as they are in their homes – never properly naming files etc. and have thousands of digital things which they are afraid to delete, just in case.
- Cloud sceptics: This group represents almost one in five (20 per cent) respondents who, while they rely on the cloud, worry about control of their data and wonder who, or what, has their stuff.
- 2020 Teenager: This group of pre-teen are digital natives and do not distinguish between hardware, software or data – cloud is simply a way of life. They also reveal the most about the future direction of cloud services and usage.
2020 Future Forecast
Rather unfortunately in my opinion, many respondents believe that the cloud will make CD and physical book collections a thing of the past for them. Predictions for 2020 include:
- 3 in 10 (31 per cent) respondents believe that all their music will be stored and/or accessed online, and they won’t own any CDs
- 28 per cent believe the DVD would be a collector’s item
- 25 per cent believe they will no longer print photos, just store them in the cloud
- 14 per cent said they believe that they wouldn’t own any physical books, just e-books
- 11 per cent believe they won’t own a TV, but would instead use their computer or similar device to access programmes
- 16 per cent believe their household appliances, e.g. their fridge, will access the internet and, for instance, automatically order more essentials when they are running low
For full copies of the study, interviews with experts and case studies follow: www.rackspace.co.uk/generationcloud
Nigel Beighton (EMEA CTO, Rackspace) will be speaking at the eCommerce Networking Forum, (#eCloud), London 1st November. This is a by-invitation forum for key executives from the multi-channel retail community to meet, discuss issues of common interest with their peers, exchange ideas, and do business. If you are a CIO, CTO, CFO or Director of ecommerce you should give some serious thought to getting there too.