While small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) have been leveraging cloud solutions to improve efficiency, CIOs and IT administrators at larger companies have been slower to tackle challenges with their own information and communications technology (ICT) infrastructures, a new report suggested.

A NTT Europe survey revealed that 81 percent of CIOs believe their own information and communications technology architecture is the greatest hurdle to cloud adoption, resulting in a possible tug of war between CIOs and other administrative team members.

Additionally, 58 percent of survey respondents claimed the complexity of existing internal infrastructures has been holding up cloud adoptions, pointing to legacy IT platforms as a culprit.

The survey suggests that businesses are using the cloud as a "tactical bolt-on" to existing IT services, instead of as an ICT platform for businesses. Approximately 65 percent of businesses leveraging the cloud are using three or fewer cloud platforms, while more than 68 percent of respondents say they have been using cloud applications for less than two years.

NTT Europe Vice President of Cloud Services Damian Skendrovic said in prepared remarks that businesses need cloud to hide business complexities behind a dashboard.

"CIOs expect transparency in their systems and for the control to be taken by the provider," he said. "For their part, cloud providers need to demonstrate they can virtualize and industrialize a huge variety of IT platforms and services, and deliver them all with total security."

Despite difficulties, leaders believe cloud is the way of the future. Almost half (49 percent) of respondents said cloud will more than likely help them into new markets, and another 40 percent said cloud will unlock business potential.

More than 46 percent identified bring your own device (BYOD) and remote access to business applications as a driving force toward the cloud.

The report was based on a survey of 300 CIOs and senior IT professionals.