Many companies using cloud computing fail to optimize their deployments, a recent study suggests.

The study, conducted by Osterman Research, found more than half of companies utilizing cloud computing have rarely or never used cloud resources. Approximately 47 percent of respondents indicated their cloud infrastructure has excess capacity.

Approximately 100 senior-level software development professionals were polled for the study, which also found that a large proportion of companies either use cloud computing technology or intend to do so. The study found 48 percent of companies utilize or plan to utilize private cloud solutions.

Twenty percent of respondents indicated they currently use public cloud services, while 34 percent are investing with the intention of employing them in the future.

"Cloud computing is real and happening," said Mike Maciag, CEO of the company that commissioned the study. "But many of those resources are sitting unused."

Ongoing confusion about cloud computing may be affecting company's cloud usage patterns. According to a recent Leger Marketing study, approximately 23 percent of IT executives consider cloud computing confusing.