Optimising the costs of cloud computing services and ensuring a good return on investment will be top priorities for businesses this year, after new research revealed a large proportion of spending is currently going to waste.

This is according to the RightScale 2019 State of the Cloud Report from Flexera, which revealed that cloud users report that 27 per cent of their spending on cloud solutions is wasted. 

However, the survey suggested this figure actually underestimates the true scale of the issue, as Flexera's own calculations put the real proportion of wasted investment at 35 per cent.

Therefore, optimising cloud spending was named as the number one priority for businesses, with 64 per cent saying they intend to look for cost savings in their existing cloud use this year, up from 58 per cent in 2018.

Jim Ryan, chief executive at Flexera, said: "With multi-cloud as the strategy of choice, most enterprises are already spending over $1 million (£757,000) a year in public cloud. As a result, optimising costs is the top cloud priority for the third year in a row, and governance is the top challenge."

The survey revealed the average enterprise uses almost five cloud services, with a combination of public and private tools the norm in many businesses. On average, firms have 3.4 clouds in production and are experimenting with a further 1.5. 

Almost six out of ten companies (58 per cent) operate a hybrid strategy that combines public and private tools, up from 51 per cent in 2018.

Overall, respondents run 38 per cent of their workloads in public clouds, with a further 41 per cent in private clouds, including cloud-enabled virtual environments.

Mr Ryan added: "The data from the RightScale 2019 State of the Cloud Report by Flexera is consistent with what we’re hearing from our C-level customers: managing the rapid increase in cloud use requires new capabilities for cost optimisation and IT governance."

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