The 8th annual Okta Businesses at Work report is a treasure trove of data. It’s fantastic that Okta shares this data. Moreover, the report is very visual, full of graphs and charts. Here are four which illustrate enterprise web application usage in 2022.
While the gap between Microsoft 365 and the rest of the pack widens, Google Workspace moves into third place.
Of Okta’s customers who use Microsoft 365, what are the most popular “best-of-breed” apps which those customers also use? One of the stories here is growing use of Google Workspace. Zoom is still growing. Reminder: this is only a picture of Okta’s customers.
Phenomenal growth by these up-and-comers, although you may not be familiar with a few of these applications. Netskope provides cloud-native security products and services. Notion is for collaboration. TripActions covers travel, credit card, and expense. Postman is a platform for building and using APIs.
You can see the steep growth in remote work here. Amongst Okta users, Palo Alto Networks Global Protect and Cisco AnyConnect are the leaders in remote access.
Each year I look forward to Okta’s Businesses at Work report. Okta anonymizes data from its more than 9,400 customer entities. These are customers which use the Okta Identity Network (OIN) with its over 6,500 integrations with cloud, mobile, and web apps, and with IT infrastructure providers. The report is free, not even a registration is needed. To my knowledge no other public report provides this level of data on cloud application usage.
For data lovers it’s a treasure trove of facts about cloud usage. There are over 28 charts and tables. Download it here. I’ll share a few of my favorite insights from the report.
Most Popular Apps by Number of Customers
Microsoft 365 wins. I attended a legal technology conference in 2014. In a session on SharePoint, hosted by Microsoft, the roadmap showed that Outlook, Exchange, and, yes, SharePoint were all moving to the cloud in the form of Office 365. People exited the room in fury. At that time, most law firms were adamant – No Cloud. While there will always be law firms, especially “Big Law,” which will keep Outlook, SharePoint, and the Office Suite on-premises, the adoption of Office 365 or Microsoft 365 in the legal sector has been swift over the past two years. The Okta data reflects this.
This chart shows that the gap in usage between Microsoft 365 and all other applications, including AWS and Salesforce, has only widened in the past 5 years.
Most Popular Video Conferencing Apps
This graph highlights the steep curve in Zoom usage which we all lived through in 2020. At Mobile Helix, we started using Zoom heavily in 2017. We even perform our LINK system deployments remotely over Zoom in about two hours. When the pandemic hit, we were easily able to deploy LINK with IT staff who were themselves working from home. Customers favor our over-Zoom deployment over an on-site visit as it ends up taking less of their time.
Customers Authenticating With Each Factor
Phishing has been up 220% during the pandemic per F5’s2020 Phishing and Fraud Report (an excellent report on phishing). The Okta report quotes, “F5 warns that the login page of our most popular app, Microsoft 365 (M365), is one of the most popular targets for generic phishing because attackers know that stealing Office 365 credentials can grant them access not only to email but also corporate documents, finance, HR, and many other critical business functions.”
Strong Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) should be used with M365. The chart above shows that of Okta customers authenticating with a factor in addition to, or instead of a password, 82% use Okta Verify. The good news here is that weaker factors such as SMS and security questions are on the decline.
One of the positive conclusions from Okta’s 2021 Businesses at Work report has to be that as difficult as 2020 was, with 38M people applying for unemployment, if it had happened even 10 years earlier, how many people would have been unable to work from home? The growth of web-based applications, cloud-based services, and mobile apps resulted in most office jobs successfully transitioning to work-from-home in two or three weeks.
If you have an office job, you likely now WFH (work from home). The odds are that you have found yourself on at least a handful of video teleconference calls in the past four weeks. There is no question that video conference services have been the backbone of the information workforce during this month of “stay-at-home”. Teachers, students, courtrooms, and television shows are going live from homes all over America.
In the process of doing research, I happened to find this April 8th post by Hector Aguilar, Okta’s President of Technology, How COVID-19 Is Changing the Way We Work: Zoom Boom + MFA is the Way. Okta is a leader in identity management and Multi-Factor Authentication. Therefore, Okta has a unique and vast window into the usage of cloud services.
We all know anecdotally that Zoom usage has been rocketing. This is the first data that I have seen comparing Zoom to other video conference services.
From February 28 to March 27, Cisco’s WebEx and Ring Central’s unique daily users were up about 50%, but Zoom’s were up 200%.
Zoom’s adoption has been nothing short of incredible. From yoga teachers to grandparents, people are thrilled with its ease of use. I have used quite few of the video conferencing services. Out company tried Zoom over two years ago and never looked back. Both the ease of use and the pricing were a world apart from the other services.
Zoom has had a challenge-laden couple of weeks as the onslaught of users and attention by security analysts have exposed vulnerabilities. Some, such as “Zoom-bombing,” where intruders disrupt a session, can be managed with existing policies. Others are more serious. Zoom is reporting fixes weekly. They report that they have removed the use of the Facebook SDK in their iOS app, which was sending user data to Facebook.
School districts have banned usage of Zoom. There are three class-action law suits against Zoom.
Zoom announced yesterday that they have formed a CISO Council and an Advisory Board to look at ways to address Zoom’s security and privacy issues, with CISOs from VMware, HSBC, NTT Data, Netflix, and more participating. In what would appear to be a major coup for Zoom, Alex Stamos, former CSO at Facebook, now at Stanford, tweeted on April 8th that he will join Zoom as an outside advisor.
I’m optimistic that they will resolve most of these issues. Zoom has a lot to gain by doing so.