Enterprise businesses are increasing their use of public cloud and are increasingly focussed on optimising cloud costs, according to the seventh annual State of the Cloud survey.

The report, carried out by RightScale, found that 26% of businesses with more than 1000 employees spend more than $6 million (approx. £4.3 million) a year in the public cloud, with another 26% saying they spend between $1.2 million and $6 million each year.

Bosses at these firms are also looking to increase that spending. Of those enterprise businesses surveyed, a fifth plan to more than double their public cloud spending, and a further 17% are planning to increase the spend by 50% to 100%. The majority of enterprise firms surveyed said they will increase their public spend by at least 20%.

“The RightScale 2018 State of the Cloud Survey showed that enterprise cloud spending will grow rapidly over the next year, and yet 35 percent of cloud spend is wasted. As a result, optimizing clouds costs is the top initiative for cloud users in 2018,” said Michael Crandell, CEO of RightScale.

Multi-cloud is also becoming ever more popular, with an average of 3.1 clouds already in use, and an average of 1.7 clouds being experimented with.

That’s good news for cloud competitors looking to claw back some of AWS’s dominance, says Crandell. “Multi-cloud continues to be the preferred strategy for enterprises, with companies reporting that they use nearly five different clouds on average.

“With this multi-cloud approach, Azure is now nipping at AWS’ heels and, in fact, is in a dead heat with AWS among enterprises that are just beginning their cloud adoption.”

public cloud usage rightscale

However, security continues to be a concern for those moving to the cloud. 77% of respondents cited it as a challenge, with 29% saying that it’s a ‘significant’ challenge. Cost was reported to be a concern for a similar number of businesses, though security tends to be more of a concern for cloud ‘beginners’, while cost becomes more problematic for intermediate and advanced users.