The uncontrolled growth of software applications leads to higher costs, which takes money away from necessary IT investments, according to a CIO survey conducted by HP.

The survey, which polled 500 CIOs in Germany, Britain, France, Italy and the Nordic countries, found that 74 percent considered software proliferation a major problem. CIOs found that as much as 15 percent ofnew software was of little or no use to the business.

HP said the costs of managing this software added up to 5.8 percent of IT budgets, which equals about 12 billion euros a year in western European countries.

Among German CIOs, 79 percent acknowledged a big problem with software proliferation, while 98 percent said the efficient management of applications is critical to business.

Of the German CIOs, 91 percent said they could prove with numbers that an optimized application landscape starts paying off quickly.

Robert Wende, who heads HP’s Application Transformation and Integration Services in the German-speaking countries, said all software applications need to be reviewed constantly, even when this meets with internal resistance.

Said Wende: “The board of a company needs to set the course for the consolidation of software applications.”