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Microsoft Office 365 Tops Pops for Cloud Apps

Microsoft Office 365 is hanging on to the popularity prize for cloud productivity apps, but newcomers are gaining, including Zoom videoconferencing and Silicon Valley darling Slack.

Also, the clear distinction between corporate apps and personal apps is fading, and Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) Active Directory is showing early signs of losing its dominance, according to the Okta Business @ Work report. Okta, which provides cloud identity management, released its third annual report last week, measuring cloud app usage by Okta's enterprise customers of all sizes.

Office 365 leads Salesforce.com Inc. , Box and Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) G Suite as the most popular app on both desktop and mobile devices, the report found.

Slack's growing popularity is hurting Yammer and HipChat, which are declining. But Slack might be hurt in the future by even newer entrants, such as Facebook Workplace and Microsoft Teams.

Zoom, which provides video and web conferencing, increased in popularity 67% in the past six months, followed by Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) Umbrella, which grew 47%. Slack was third with 44% growth, "an impressive feat after holding the 'Fastest Growing App' title for the past two reports," the report says.

People are using more cloud apps in the workplace, the report says. This used to be called "rogue cloud," and IT fought it; now IT is going along with bring-your-own policies that make employees more productive.

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The report says:

Fifty-six percent of apps used by Okta customers are not provided by IT, compared to 48% in November 2015. While some of these apps (Amazon, PayPal, Comcast, Netflix, etc.) are very likely for personal use, others including LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Evernote and a multitude of travel sites show this very blurry world in which we now live.

As for Active Directory: Some 95% of the Fortune 1000 use it, but as systems move to the cloud, using an on-premises directory might make less sense, the report says. Some 16% of Okta's customers don't use AD or Lightweight Directory Access Protocol LDAP) today, including more than 40% of SMB customers. "As these companies grow and mature, they may never deploy a traditional on-premises directory, an indicator that usage in large organizations may decline," Okta says.

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— Mitch Wagner, Follow me on TwitterVisit my LinkedIn profile, Editor, Light Reading Enterprise Cloud

Kelsey Ziser 1/23/2017 | 11:56:58 AM
Slack vs. HipChat Interesting to see that Slack's growing popularity is hurting HipChat. I haven't used HipChat but the interface looks very similar to Slack's...what's the advantage of Slack over HipChat or is Slack just appealing as the "latest and greatest"?
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