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

Organizations have been adopting cloud computing solutions, though, not at the rate that was initially expected. 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.

The latest TechTarget Cloud Adoption Index found that both public and private cloud adoption reached 25 percent penetration within IT last year. 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, which was doubled from the corresponding quarter last year.

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

"Often users get overlooked in technology research," noted the source. "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 adoption of cloud tools 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 employee use of the cloud for data storage is persuading organizations to move faster toward adoption.

By deploying private or hybrid 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.

Cloud computing is 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 destroyed.

"When you mention a disaster, everyone thinks of this massive event, but everyone forgets that it could be [as simple as] losing a proposal you have been working on for days just before the deadline," noted Gavin Lingenfelder, cloud services lead at Pajoma, according to an ITWeb article. "So, recovery starts from end-user devices right through to the data centers making sure data is automatically backed up and that there are processes that are regularly tested in place."