Slack May be Sexier, but Office 365 Most Used Cloud-Based Business App

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Microsoft Office 365 is the most used web-based business application, according to identity and access management startup Okta. The company’s second annual “Business @ Work” report, released Monday, shows that the average organization uses about 13 cloud apps, and 15 percent of businesses use both Office 365 and Google Apps.

The survey uses anonymized customer data from its network of “thousands of applications, custom integrations, and enterprise customers and millions of daily authentications and verifications from countries around the world.”

The most common reason for using both Office 365 and Google Apps is differing preferences between departments. That differing preference based on task specifics is reflected in the split between industries, with financial, biotech, construction, healthcare, and IT companies most likely to use Microsoft, while Internet and marketing and advertising firms seem to prefer Google.

Bitglass also found in August that Office 365 had passed Google Apps as the most popular application suite among enterprises.

Read more: Bulk of Data Loss from SaaS Apps Caused by User Error: Report is the second most popular business app, followed by Box and Google Apps. Amazon Web Services moved up to fifth from eighth a year ago.

Slack was the fastest growing app, as its customer base within Okta’s network grew by 667 percent in 2015, Okta CEO and co-founder Todd McKinnon told City A.M.. Tableau and New Relic are also among the fastest-growing business apps, Okta said.

The report also shows traditional software vendors adapting to deliver their services from the cloud. Microsoft cloud adoption grew by 116 percent last year, and SAP cloud adoption grew by 133 percent, year-over-year.

“Traditional on-prem software companies are successfully reinventing themselves in the cloud. Enterprises continue to build out their library of applications with new and emerging apps. And, no app is invincible,” wrote Okta’s Cathy Tanimura and Katie Hahn in a blog post.

Okta found that 90 percent of its client organizations use at least one Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML)-enabled application, and almost 65 percent are using automated provisioning. Thirty-percent are now using multi-factor authentication.

If Okta sounds familiar, it may be because it was recently disinvited from, and then re-invited to Microsoft’s Ignite conference “due to broad competition between our companies in the mobility solution space,” according to Business Insider.

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