Businesses at Work 2024: Fundamentals in focus

For the first few years of this decade, organisations everywhere had to grapple with wave after wave of remarkable change. Sudden developments like lockdowns, the shift to remote work, supply chain disruptions, rampant inflation, and the rise of AI — just to name a few — forced companies to ditch the status quo and rapidly transform if they wanted to survive. 

Now, as we enter the mid-2020s, the dust appears to be settling. Instead of constantly reacting to the latest headlines, organisations are returning to a focus on the fundamentals: making work more efficient, compliant, and secure.

That’s according to the 2024 edition of Businesses at Work, Okta’s annual look at the digital business landscape powered by anonymised data from customers in the Okta Integration Network (OIN). Businesses at Work details the most popular apps and services that companies are embracing today, providing a glimpse into their strategies for success in 2024 and beyond.

This year’s report explores:

  • The rise of compliance tools
  • Trends in workflow automation
  • Adoption of higher-assurance MFA
  • And much, much more

Read Businesses at Work 2024 for all the fascinating details and data, but for now, here are my main takeaways.

(All data and charts are sourced from the Businesses at Work 2024 report unless otherwise stated.)

After a pause, app adoption is rising again

I’m always interested in learning how many apps organisations typically use to get work done. For the past two years, this number barely budged. But this year, we saw some movement: Apps deployed per company ticked up 4% year over year, to an average of 93.

The trend was consistent across regions, with customers in North America; Asia Pacific/Japan; and Europe, the Middle East, and Africa all adopting more apps compared to the previous year. And some countries, including Israel and Australia, saw double-digit app adoption growth.

Biz at Work chart

These findings indicate companies aren’t just getting by with their existing solutions but are expanding their digital toolboxes to move business forward.

Data compliance is a top priority

I’ve also been eager to learn which categories of apps are growing the fastest. This year, apps related to data compliance showed incredible growth, with adoption surging 120% over last year. And perhaps it’s no surprise, as the global regulatory landscape is constantly changing and growing ever more complex.

With such rapid growth, data compliance tools entered our list of the top 10 fastest-growing apps of all time. In fact, two of the 10 fastest-growing tools in the OIN focus on data compliance.

Fastest-growing apps 


This list includes Drata (an Okta Ventures portfolio company), which saw a 91% increase in the number of Okta customers deploying it via the OIN, as well as our fastest-growing app of the year, Vanta, which saw 338% growth.

Okta Workflows are accelerating automation 

Organisations today face increased pressure to find ways to automate processes and develop new efficiencies. That may be why we’re seeing record growth in the use of Okta Workflows, which allow customers to automate Identity management processes at scale.

As the report reveals, some industries show especially strong adoption of Okta Workflows:

  • The insurance sector saw the fastest growth, with a 91% year-over-year increase in companies deploying Workflows.
  • The tech sector saw 36% year-over-year growth in the number of customers deploying Workflows, with the average number of workflows per account also rising from 38 to 56.

Workflows adoption by industry



Of all available Workflows connectors, Slack proved the most popular this year by total number of customers, growing an impressive 33% year over year.

Most popular Workflows connectors



But, what were customers doing with all those Workflows? It turns out that automating operational tasks and maintenance was the most popular category of Workflows templates, followed by lifecycle management and security automation. All three categories saw growth of more than 58% year over year.

Workflows template categories



Even more specifically, many customers used Workflows to better understand their overall Okta usage. In fact, “Identify inactive Okta users” was the most popular individual Workflows template, showing tremendous growth over the past two years.

Organisations are embracing higher-assurance MFA

With cyberattacks and threats growing more complex and sophisticated, security is top of mind for our customers. 

As Businesses at Work shows, many companies are strengthening their adoption of multi-factor authentication (MFA). Of all MFA factors available, higher-assurance factors like security keys and biometrics grew the fastest year over year: 25% by customers and 158% by unique users. 


Growth of factor groupings


Note: Circle size represents the relative number of customers deploying each factor grouping.

That trend was even more pronounced among tech startups, where such factors grew 29% by customers and 175% by unique users. And government sector organisations saw the fastest growth of all: a 52% year-over-year increase in companies deploying security key or biometric factors.

As high-assurance factors rise, some lower-assurance factors are on the decline. The use of security questions, for example, dropped across industries, including finance and banking (down 29% year over year), construction (down 18%), professional services (down 17%), and tech (down 16%). 

A decade of insights

These are just some of the many findings from Businesses at Work 2024, our 10th annual report on the state of modern business and innovation. We’re grateful to be able to share insights and trends from Okta’s incredible customer base again this year. Download the Businesses at Work 2024 report to learn more.

And, for a historical perspective, you can read our previous reports here: