A recent survey conducted by NaviSite and Time Warner Cable found that the majority of enterprises are interested in adopting cloud computing and bring-your-own-device initiatives but are encountering a variety of barriers to deployment, chief among them threats to security.

The study, which included responses from 250 companies in the U.S. and U.K., found that implementing cloud services and enabling a mobile workforce are two of the most important initiatives being considered by businesses today. While nearly 90 percent of participant organizations reported having plans to move business-critical applications to the cloud within the next year, 59 percent admitted to having concerns about security related to the technology.

According to the report, 94 percent of organizations are employing the cloud to create a more mobile workforce, but 68 percent of participating enterprises said they did not currently have a BYOD policy in place. This is because of a lack of IT professionals with the necessary skills to implement such a plan and concern from businesses that an influx of mobile devices will lead to security issues they are unequipped to defend against. Other emerging technology like the Internet of Things is also appealing to companies because of the business insights it can offer, but the trend brings along a variety of security concerns of its own.  

Third-party cloud providers offer relief from security threats
Recent data breaches involving cloud-based file sharing services like iCloud and Dropbox have cast doubt on the safety of the cloud for enterprise use, and the very real threat of mobile malware has dampened enthusiasm for BYOD initiatives. However, companies can experience the advantages of both by utilizing a third-party service provider to aid them in their migration. As shown by the study, the vast majority of businesses are looking to deploy a cloud platform and many groups are interested in BYOD, especially as the interest in wearables increases. With the knowledge and expertise of third-party providers, enterprises can realize the benefits of these programs while greatly reducing the risk of security incidents and data loss.

"Effective business leaders recognize that while they need to leverage virtual technologies to remain competitive, they also need to leverage their existing investments in traditional platforms," said Sean McAvan, managing director of NaviSite Europe, in an interview with Business Cloud News. "Those companies who most effectively leverage cloud and virtual technology often partner with a managed service provider, freeing them up to focus on their core competencies."