Tech-savvy employees are often ahead of the technology curve compared with their employers. Equipped with everything from mobile devices to their own personal clouds, these productive workers are helping to push businesses toward cloud adoption.

Organizations have not been adopting cloud computing solutions at the rate that was initially expected, however. While security concerns have presented the main roadblock, employees are quickly becoming the driving force behind cautious companies adopting the cloud, according to Cloud Tech News contributor Eoin Jennings.

High-tech workers driving cloud adoption
According to the latest TechTarget Cloud Adoption Index, both public and private cloud solutions had reached 25 percent penetration within IT last year. As noted by Jennings, a more recent ISG study found that 10 to 15 percent of total IT outsourcing spending was on cloud services in the third quarter of 2013, doubled from the same period last year.

While many businesses that have either adopted the technology or plan to cited cost-effectiveness and scalability among some of the main factors behind their decisions, one unanticipated point of influence is the overwhelming employee demands for cloud solutions.

"Often users get overlooked in technology research," Jennings wrote. "In fact, technology forecasters underestimate the power of the people and without asking users what they're actually doing, we're only getting half the story."

Enterprise cloud adoption is still in the early stages, but employees and their mobile devices are leading to the development of new IT strategies. As workers continue to store mission-critical business data in their personal clouds, the importance of securing employees' use of the cloud for data storage is persuading organizations to move faster toward deployment.

By deploying private solutions, businesses are able to take back control by selecting the most critical applications that need to be migrated to the cloud and providing secure access for employees, reducing the risks of external leaks or intrusion.

As much as adopting cloud computing is about regaining control, it's also essential for business continuity and disaster recovery strategies. Data that's stored in a virtualized environment with secure VPN access will ensure that data is protected and readily available even if servers are damaged.

Assessing the cloud through a business point of view
Implementing cloud solutions is a pragmatic decision most enterprises will have to make sooner or later. While it could be a challenging process because of painstaking attention to detail and possessing a deep understanding of one's organization, undertaking a comprehensive assessment of the enterprise and IT needs will help businesses understand where they currently stand, according to CloudTweaks​ contributor Kevin Gruneisen.

"A comprehensive assessment should look at your organization from three distinct points of view: your technology team, the business leaders IT serves and the finance executives who have to agree to pay for it all," he stated. "The true potential of cloud technology can only be realized by tightly aligning technology with business objectives."

While cloud service providers like Peak can offer raw cloud environments with the tools and answers for successful deployment, it's important for businesses to look at how this technology will benefit them through their own perspective. Making the most of solutions such as infrastructure-as-a-service cloud require a secure, flexible and a highly available extension of a company's unique IT habitat.