It’s Business Time: Introducing Okta’s "Businesses @ Work" Report

Work is happening everywhere, and Okta has a unique vantage point into the cloud and mobile apps and services that organizations are choosing to help their employees, customers and partners be more flexible and productive. That’s why we’re releasing our first-ever "Businesses @ Work" Report, which shares findings from our network of 4,000 applications, thousands of custom integrations and millions of daily authentications and verifications around the world.

After analyzing Okta’s dataset, we’ve identified a few industry trends that might be helpful for those making (or considering) significant investments in cloud and mobile. We hope you find it as interesting as we do.

Here are some highlights:

popular appsSize doesn’t matter in the cloud. Today’s mobile, cloud-based environment has leveled the playing field. Small companies now have access to the same tools that large enterprises do – and are adopting and securing them at similar rates. We found most businesses offer their employees between 11 and 16 off-the-shelf cloud apps (and that’s not including custom integrations, on-prem applications, personal apps, etc.), and have seen a 40% increase year-over-year of companies moving to protect their apps with MFA.

Apps can rise in popularity just as fast as they can fall. It’s more important than ever to deliver constant value to users, otherwise, they’ll abandon you as soon as something newer and better enters the market. Certain services have maintained early leadership positions – including, AWS and Box – but others have lost ground to competition. Google Apps has come a long way in the past few years, but it now trails Office 365 in almost every category. And Slack has come on strong, increasing usership 50% in Q2 2015.

Traditional security questions like “What’s your mother’s maiden name?” are on the decline as a form of verification. New forms of authentication like push notifications on phones and watches have become more popular. And innovation is happening quickly – we predict even more movement on this front. Moving forward, we believe biometrics will be the next big factor that businesses layer into security practices.

google vs office 365Identity management isn’t just employees, but for partners and customers. When we started Okta, we helped companies connect their employees to technology. In the last few years, we’ve seen incredible demand for identity management for third parties and, as a result, the number of our customer’s external identities in the cloud grew 284% from July 2014 to July 2015, while our internal identities grew 192% in the same timeframe. A clear sign that businesses are making efforts to enable their partners, customers and contractors through cloud-based applications, websites and portals.

SAML is finally the security standard it set out to be. As companies put a premium on security, developers are increasingly building apps with SAML enabled from the start. It used to take months to build in SAML capabilities, but in the last couple years, cloud services have made it easier for ISVs and app developers to automate key exchanges, key management and libraries.

The big takeaway? It’s business time for cloud and mobile – and as business computing happens everywhere, companies are taking steps to equip their employees, partners and customers with the right tools to be productive and secure.

To learn more, check out our full "Businesses @ Work" Report at And share your thoughts with us @Okta with the hashtag #BusinessesAtWork.