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We see lots of reports ranking hot enterprise software apps, some like the G2 Crowd’s are defined by great user reviews. Industry analyst Gartner evaluates based on two main criteria, the "ability to execute" and "completeness of vision." Forrester Research considers, "market presence", "strategy" and "current offering." As valuable as all of these reports are, they're missing one thing. That one thing is quantifiable data on which solutions companies are actually deploying and how widely they are being adopted by workers.

Identity/access management provider Okta, whose products are used to connect any worker to any application on any device, has a unique view of this space. With over 5000 software integrations and thousands of enterprise customers, the vendor is in position to see what is actually going on and they've created a report to share their findings called, Businesses @ Work 2018

Before digging into the details, Okta made a point of stating that it used anonymized customer data from its "network of thousands of companies, applications, custom integrations, and millions of daily authentications and verifications from countries around the world." It is also important to note that Okta made a special effort, and a smart choice, to distinguish between "popular-number of customers and "popular-number of monthly active unique users." There's a difference. 

Without further ado, here are the top 10 apps used in the enterprise and some analysis on the surprising findings that the data unearthed.

  • Microsoft 365
  • Salesforce
  • Amazon AWS
  • GSuite
  • Box
  • Concur
  • Slack
  • Jira
  • Docusign
  • Merai

Microsoft Office 365 Rules the Roost 

It is not only the most widely deployed enterprise software app, as has been the case since 2015 (Salesforce, Box and G Suite owned the Enterprise Cloud until then) but users are accessing it far more often than any other app. Office 365's number of monthly active users grew 92 percent in the past year, according to the report. As a point of interest, Workday and ServiceNow came in at a distant second and third as the most widely accessed enterprise apps.

G Suite is Adding Customers Faster

That being said, Google, with its G Suite app, acquired new business customers just a little faster than Microsoft with Office 365 on a year-over-year basis (49 vs. 40 percent.) It will be interesting to see how these numbers change in 2018, given that, as we reported last November, Google is now offering eligible Salesforce customers company-wide G Suite licenses at no additional cost for up to one year, provided that they are not already paying for it.

Dropbox Rates as a Popular App

... but not in terms of monthly active users. For a long time IT industry analysts believed that people were yearning to use Dropbox at work and that the only problem was that IT managers weren't letting it in the door. Interestingly Okta's data shows that Dropbox ranks 12th among popular apps when it comes to the number of customers, but it does not even rate in the top 15 when it comes to active monthly users. In other words, more workers regularly use Microsoft Office 365, Workday, ServiceNow, Salesforce, G Suite, Box, Concur, SuccessFactors, Jive, WebEx, ZScaler, Sharepoint, Slack, Confluence, and CornerStone On Demand. It begs the question, where in the cloud are people keeping and collaborating on content?

Jive Has More Active Unique Users Than Slack

Sure, this one is difficult to wrap your head around, but while wildly popular messaging app Slack ranks as the 7th most popular app, it ranks 13th in terms of most active users. Jive, on the other hand, doesn’t even make the top 15 list for number of customers, but it ranks 9th when it comes to number of users. This might be explained that Jive as a much older provider, has had more time to accumulate users who access the app on a regular basis, but it might also suggest that there may not be as many regular users of Slack as we think.

Slack is Not Among the 15 Fastest Growing Apps

For the first time in recent years, Slack isn't on the list of fastest growing business apps. While it is tempting (and lazy) to conclude that newer apps like Cisco Spark and Workplace by Facebook , which rate as the second and fifth fastest growing, have disrupted Slack's time in the sun, the report's authors also noted that this might have as much to do with the scale that Slack has already achieved. That being said, Cisco Spark's virtual assistant has helped generate 377 percent growth and Workplace by Facebook's integrations with Box, Dropbox, Microsoft and others have helped make it more of a fit in workers' daily routines.

Alan Lepofsky vice president and principal analyst at Constellation Research cautioned that when it comes to looking at growth percentages, the starting point for the various apps is important to consider. "G Suite could have had fewer customers to begin with, so growth percentages look higher compared to say Office who everyone is already using. Same goes for Cisco Spark. It's doing great but when it starts with fewer customers percentage growth is obviously going to look better."

When it comes to fastest growing apps, overall though, there is value in getting a look at what is hitting the radar. Okta found that seven of the 15 fastest growing apps in its network (Jamf, KnowBe4, Cisco Umbrella, DigiCert, Sophos, Mimecast and CloudFlare) have products with security use-cases.