Microsoft has held its dominance in the software market in part because it is the go-to provider for many business solutions. Word, Excel and Powerpoint are essential pieces of software across almost any industry, whether they are used for presentations and memos or tracking expenses and marketing products.
However, enterprise apps from competitors are growing in popularity, according to a new report from Okta, with apps and services filling gaps left by Microsoft’s products.
That doesn’t mean Microsoft is losing ground, though. In fact, Okta found that Google Apps and Microsoft Office 365 use overlaps at more than 40 percent of companies.
Okta, a company focused on verifying identities across devices, found that the average employee has access to between 10 and 16 cloud-based apps. Microsoft Office 365 is the most-used app, with Salesforce, Box, Google Apps and Amazon Web Services also making the top five.
Microsoft actually extended their lead over the past year. That may be, in part, due to the growth of Office 365 as the go-to way to licence apps like Word and Excel on mobile and desktop devices alike. And with more employees using mobile devices to get work done, they want the same access to Office apps as they have to things like Slack and Google Apps.
Office is also maintaining its dominance even as companies add Google Apps to their offerings, letting employees choose between Microsoft or Google options. It turns out that employees stick with Office apps for many projects they’re getting done on their own, but when collaborating they switch to Google products.
Email-killer Slack is also moving up quickly, with a 77 percent increase in adoption in the second half of 2015. For companies that use Slack, it is used widely throughout the organization. While Amazon Web Services are used by less than 10 percent of employees on average, Slack is in use by nearly three-quarters of employees at organizations that use it at all. That puts Slack behind just four apps (including Microsoft Office 365) in terms of saturation.
Okta’s report also found that, while plenty of new players are shaking things up in the cloud, legacy apps have managed the transition well. Microsoft, Adobe and SAP all more than doubled adoption of cloud-based tools. The real difference is how they grew, with Microsoft and Adobe growing their own products from scratch, while SAP and Oracle focused on acquiring companies that had proven success in the cloud.