Businesses @ Work
Businesses @ Work Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) Edition takes an in-depth look into how organisations and people work today — exploring employees, partners, contractors and customers, and the apps and services they use to be productive.
Welcome to Okta’s first regional Businesses @ Work report. We’ve published three global Businesses @ Work reports, releasing our most recent global report in January 2017. You can also find the most popular and fastest growing apps charts updated quarterly on our Businesses @ Work Dashboard. Our reports are abundantly clear: no two regions, organisations, or even people, work in the same way. This report looks at how organisations across EMEA work. What apps, tools, and services are the most (and least) popular? What unique work trends are we seeing throughout the region? When we examined the data and trends across hundreds of EMEA customers, we discovered that EMEA’s approach to work is unique in a number of ways. Our data shows that security is clearly top of mind, that businesses are leveraging developer tools to build new apps more than ever before, and that cloud video conferencing is on the rise for the first time.
How did Okta create this report?
To create our reports, we anonymize Okta customer data from our network of thousands of organisations, applications, custom integrations, and millions of daily authentications and verifications from countries around the world. All data in this regional report specifically looks at Okta’s customers throughout Europe (including the United Kingdom), the Middle East and Africa, unless otherwise noted. We’ve also included graphs, charts and data analysis specific to Okta UK customers (these are clearly labelled). As you read this report, keep in mind this data is only representative of Okta's customers, the applications that we connect to, and the ways in which users access these applications through our service.
What are the most popular apps?
It's a marathon, not a sprint
First, let’s state the obvious: Office 365 is the most popular app in our network in both EMEA and the UK. More than 50% of both EMEA and UK customers use Office 365 today. But, the race is far from over with a recent shake-up among the other top apps.
G Suite is now the 3rd most popular app in EMEA (recently passing Salesforce) and 4th most popular in the UK. Additionally, G Suite is the 5th fastest growing app in EMEA, with 46% growth in the past six months, compared to Office 365 which grew 27% in the same time period. In the UK, G Suite is the fastest growing app with 45% growth in the past six months, compared to Office 365 which grew 28%.
AWS has also seen a significant increase in customer adoption, and today is the second most popular app in both EMEA and the UK. AWS grew 32% over the past six months in both EMEA and the UK. We anticipate AWS’ traction in both regions will continue, especially as Amazon invests in the region. AWS’ recent rise in Okta’s network correlates with the December 2016 launch of its London data centre, its third in Europe. As Amazon CTO Werner Vogels declared on his blog, “with the launch of the AWS Europe (London) Region, AWS can enable many more UK enterprise, public sector and startup customers to reduce IT costs, address data locality needs, and embark on rapid transformations in critical new areas.”
What are the top apps for G Suite and / or Office 365 customers?
G Suite vs. Office 365: to stack, or not to stack
Office 365 and G Suite have long secured the top two spots in the cloud email category. And as mentioned above, Office 365 has a significant lead within our customer base over G Suite. The app remains the most popular in our network, with 38% of EMEA customers using it exclusively, compared to 13% for G Suite. Interestingly, 15% of EMEA customers are using both applications.
Office 365 and G Suite are often positioned as fierce, head-to-head competitors. But, our data shows that may not be the case. Apart from the fact that a healthy segment of organisations in EMEA use both applications simultaneously, our data also shows that the app profiles of Office 365 and G Suite customers are quite different both in terms of quantity and apps most commonly used. On average, Office 365 customers use 36% fewer applications than G Suite customers. The median number of integrations for a G Suite customer is 15, compared to 11 for an Office 365 customer. This is likely because Office 365 customers aren’t purchasing Office 365 with email solely in mind. They leverage other products that often come bundled with the Microsoft stack, including Azure, OneDrive for Business, Teams, and Dynamics CRM. In contrast, G Suite customers are more likely to use a multi-vendor best-of-breed strategy as they build out their application ecosystems.
We also looked at the top apps used by G Suite customers in EMEA and those used by Office 365 customers. Our data revealed some interesting findings:
- Not all customers are making an “either/or” decision between these two apps. In fact, Office 365 is the most common application used by G Suite customers, with 55% usage.
- 37% of G Suite customers use Slack for messaging and collaboration today, while only 25% of Office 365 customers do. Will Slack be able to maintain its usage among Office 365 customers as Microsoft Teams ramps up? Only time will tell...
- Box and Dropbox are among the top 15 most popular apps for both Office 365 and G Suite customers. This is is especially interesting given that they each have their own file sharing functionality (Google Drive and OneDrive).
What collaboration tools are trending?
Cloud video conferencing is on the rise
There are undeniable benefits of video conferencing: it’s efficient, can lead to significant cost savings with respect to travel, and is often more convenient for end-users, to name a few. And in today’s transient world, these benefits continue to increase. According to Forrester Research, “Videoconferencing is experiencing a renaissance. Millennials enter the workforce with consumer-level expectations, and enterprises fall short. This technology allows organisations to flatten their structure, drive a collaborative culture, and attract and retain talent”.1
Despite its benefits, cloud video conferencing historically hasn’t been as popular in EMEA and the UK as it has been globally. According to our data, video conferencing is the least popular app category in EMEA today and 9th (second to last) in the UK. By comparison, it’s the 5th most popular app category across Okta’s global customer base; behind core app categories like email, sales and marketing, content collaboration, and developer tools.
So, why hasn’t video conferencing taken off in EMEA? There are a couple of possible explanations. Firstly, many organisations (and in turn their workers) may be frustrated with the functionality and ease of use of yesterday’s video conferencing solutions. According to Oded Gal, Head of Product at Zoom, “video conferencing has historically been bandwidth intensive, and therefore was impractical in many parts of EMEA where Internet architecture was not yet fully penetrated.” Another possible explanation is that EMEA hasn’t adopted cloud-based video communications at the same rate. Until recently, on-premises providers have been largely unchallenged in the market.
Our data suggests that the tide is turning. Zoom was the fastest growing app (by far) in EMEA the past six months, with 87.5% growth. (It was also the fastest growing app in our January 2017 global Businesses @ Work report). Why? According to Gal, “there have been significant investments in developing networks in this region. Not to mention, EMEA is beginning to recognize the benefits of cloud communications – chief among them: versatility, scalability, and value.” We anticipate this app category to become much more popular in EMEA!
1. TechRadar: Video Technologies, Q3 2017, Forrester Research, Inc., September 2017.
What collaboration tools are trending?
Slack’s reign continues
Slack continues to crush its competition with more than three times the number of integrations of any other messaging or collaboration app across Okta’s EMEA customer base. It’s the 7th most popular app in both EMEA and the UK. Even at the height of its success, Slack grew its EMEA customer base 33% in the last six months alone. And we’d only expect that to continue across the EMEA region with Slack’s recent foreign language support announcement — Slack is now available in French, German, and Spanish.
But incumbents refuse to call the race. Both Microsoft and Atlassian are making meaningful pivots in the market. Microsoft, which acquired Skype for $8.5 billion in 2011, recently announced that it is phasing out Skype and going all-in on Microsoft Teams. They’re encouraging Skype business customers to move to Teams as their messaging alternative. And in September, Atlassian announced the launch of its new product, Stride, as a direct response to Slack’s success.
Workplace by Facebook, is also gaining traction across the EMEA region, with impressive 33% growth (the same as category leader Slack) over the past six months. We’ll be keeping a close eye on this one.
How are EMEA organisations responding to GDPR and the ever-evolving threat landscape
Security is top of mind
According to a survey by Egress Software Technologies, 87% of CIOs said they are concerned that their organisation’s current information security policies are insufficient to comply with the General Data Protection Regulation’s requirements (the “GDPR”). The GDPR was formally adopted in April 2016. It’s designed to regulate how organisations collect, process, and store personal information about EU individuals. The scope of the regulation is broad. Personal data includes information that identifies an EU individual, ranging from someone’s name, to their email address, to a mobile phone device identifier. And, it applies to any organisation — whether or not they’re located in the European Union — that processes information from EU individuals. While the regulation isn’t enforceable until May 2018, our data shows that organisations are preparing for it now.
But it’s not just the GDPR that’s top of mind. The security stack we’ve long known and grown to trust is becoming increasingly ineffective. In today’s world, organisations have more data, and more people in more locations than ever before. They have less control over users, the networks they work from and the devices they use to conduct business. The safeguards organisations have invested in at the network layer are lost when users work off-network, as are endpoint protections when they’ve been adapted to the demands of BYOD. And hackers know it. They’ve shifted attacks from infrastructure-based to people-based. Social engineering is on the rise and credential phishing reigns supreme. According to Verizon’s 2017 Data Breach Investigations Report, 81% of today’s breaches involve either stolen and/or weak passwords.
Our data shows that organisations are taking action in several ways. They’re adding key security apps to their cloud ecosystems. Email security and archiving company Mimecast was one of the fastest-growing apps in both EMEA and the UK the past six months. Mimecast’s year-over-year growth among our users is even more impressive — 141% in EMEA and 129% in the UK.
Since the GDPR was announced in April 2016, the change in percentage of EMEA customers using Okta Lifecycle Management has notably increased. Organizations use Lifecycle Management to ensure accurate entitlement upon provisioning, which will become even more critical when the GDPR is enforceable. Often, when employees change roles within a company, they retain access to data they no longer have a “business requirement” to view. Under the GDPR, this unnecessary exposure to personal information can lead to heavy monetary fines, depending on the circumstances.
Organisations are also more frequently enabling Multi-factor Authentication; and, they’re increasingly choosing more secure factors. While having some form of second factor authentication in place is always better than not, some factors are more resilient to attacks than others. As phishing attacks in particular become more sophisticated, we’re seeing customers move from lower assurance factors – like the security question and SMS – to factors that provide higher levels of assurance, like Okta Verify with Push.
What are the most popular developer tools?
As we discussed in our January global Businesses @ Work report, to survive in today’s world, every company needs to become a technology company. Your digital presence is a key growth factor for your business today. Increasingly, companies are acting on this. Managing developer tools and projects in-house has become a high priority for businesses. It allows organisations to take the reins of their own digital transformation.
So, how many EMEA organisations are using in-house developer tools? Lots, it turns out! Nearly 50% of EMEA customers use at least one developer tool today, indicating that customers are building their own apps. In fact, EMEA is the global leader in the adoption of developer tools compared to APAC and North America. Additionally, developer tools are the fastest growing app category in EMEA, with 44.1% growth in the past six months. And, we expect EMEA’s lead to continue as more companies are using developer tools than ever before.