A recent survey of cloud use among CIOs found that many organizations are using much less computing power than they're paying for.

Only about half of the capacity companies have bought is being used, according to the study, and 90 percent of organizations reported that they consider over-provisioning as an unavoidable aspect of operating in the cloud. On the other side of the spectrum, 88 percent of CIOs surveyed said they have previously chosen to sacrifice performance at some of the busiest times in order to keep costs down.

According to the report, many companies continue the bad habits of doing without peak performance and over-provisioning their platforms because they are used to them from using on-premise solutions and have gotten used to these types of limitations.

According to the study, companies are paying nearly twice as much as they should be, considering the capacity they are utilizing, and a major reason for this is that a big portion of enterprises are manually managing their cloud services, adding to cost.

"…[a]s the research shows, and as half of respondents recognized, cloud as we have it today really isn't truly elastic — it does not expand and retract automatically to meet demands, and it is not paid for like a utility, based on consumption," said cloud computing expert Richard Davies. "However, with next-generation cloud and containerization technology, change is afoot." 

The report found that only 14 percent of CIOs surveyed had automated their cloud platform, something that can save time and money. As ITProPortal contributor Darren Allan noted, virtual machines and application programming interfaces can help businesses to scale and automate their cloud services. Once the task of having to manually make changes to capacity levels based on traffic volumes can be given to a machine and done on its own, enterprise IT departments can be freed up for more mission critical projects and benefit the company immensely.

Cloud services provider ISG can help to implement reliable solutions utilizing virtual machines and APIs that take advantage of automation and help companies make the most out of their cloud investments.