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Slack Is Growing Fast, but Microsoft Tops Enterprise Cloud Apps

Also: Companies are using more cloud apps.

Slack / Shutterstock

Use of the cloud-based collaboration app Slack grew by 77 percent while Microsoft’s Office 365 remained the most widely used cloud application by businesses in the second half of 2015.

The findings are contained in a report out today from Okta, which provides a service to help companies manage access to all the cloud applications they use. To gather the data, Okta tracked the use of more than 4,000 applications across more than 2,500 customers who use its service.

Slack led an interesting pack of fast-growing apps in use by Okta customers. Tableau, the business intelligence app, was the second-fastest grower, up 65 percent. New Relic was third, rising 56 percent.

The top-three most widely used services stayed the same from the last time Okta conducted this survey: Office 365 topped while Box, the enterprise-focused file-storage and collaboration platform, was third. Google Apps, Amazon Web Services and SAP’s expense tracking app Concur followed. Zendesk, the cloud-based customer support app, LinkedIn, the social network for professionals, Docusign, the digital signatures app, and Dropbox rounded out the top 10.

Use of cloud apps by companies also grew, Okta found, by about 20 percent from the same period in 2014. The majority of Okta’s customers use between 10 and 16 apps.

The survey also found that Microsoft Office and Google Apps often co-exist in companies. “They really overlap because a lot of people use them both,” Okta CEO Todd McKinnon said in an interview. There’s a reason for that: Subscribing to Office 365 is an easy way to keep a fully-licensed version of Microsoft Office running and up to date, while some people use Google Apps, which allows the creation of Office-compatible documents and spreadsheets, because its collaboration features are seen as better.

The survey also found that older software companies are seeing meaningful growth with their cloud apps. Use of Microsoft’s cloud software — Office 365, Dynamics CRM Online and its cloud computing platform Azure — grew by a combined 116 percent. Adobe’s Creative Cloud and EchoSign grew even faster at 144 percent. Adoption of Concur and Successfactors, two cloud-born companies acquired by SAP, grew by 133 percent. Oracle’s acquired cloud properties — Taleo for human resources, and the marketing applications Eloqua and Responsys — grew 68 percent.

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