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Travel and design are top of mind for tech-savvy businesses, a report from Okta about the most-used enterprise apps in 2022 shows. The identity software company surveyed 17,000 customers and its Okta Integration Network for its Businesses at Work 2023 report, released today.

The report breaks down business apps’ popularity on several axes, so it’s not necessarily fair to make one “best of” list; however, there are some stand-outs, including Microsoft 365 and Kandji.

Jump to:

Top 10 business apps by number of customers

  1. Microsoft 365.
  2. Amazon Web Services.
  3. Google Workspace.
  4. Salesforce.
  5. Zoom.
  6. Atlassian Product Suite.
  7. Slack.
  8. DocuSign.
  9. KnowBe4.
  10. GitHub.

Fastest-growing business apps

  1. Kandji.
  2. Grammarly.
  3. Bob.
  4. Notion.
  5. Palo Alto Networks Prisma Access.
  6. Navan (formerly TripActions).
  7. GitLab.
  8. Ironclad.
  9. Terraform Cloud.
  10. Figma.

SEE: Feature comparison: Time tracking software and systems (TechRepublic Premium)

Travel apps

Okta found that apps in the travel category posted 43% YoY growth by number of customers and 197% YoY growth by number of unique users in 2022. Interest in travel apps was on the rise even before the coronavirus pandemic, with 2022 being the third consecutive year of above-average growth. The tech sector is doing most of the traveling, with 62% YoY growth by number of customers and 258% by unique users.

Business supply apps

Business supply apps had high year-over-year growth, with a 35% increase in customers and a 77% increase in unique users. Okta saw renewed demand for office supplies in North America (78% YoY increase in unique users) and Europe, the Middle East and Africa (162% YoY increase in unique users).

Video conferencing apps

On the other hand, video conferencing’s rise is slowly flattening out, with a 22% increase YoY by number of customers compared to 23% last year.

Design software apps

Design software has been popular for the past five years and remains that way. This category saw an additional 31% growth in customers and 60% growth in users.

In particular, companies spending money on design software include transportation and warehousing (45% YoY growth), insurance (38% YoY growth), healthcare and pharmaceuticals (35% YoY growth), arts, entertainment and recreation (33% YoY growth), and construction and engineering (33% YoY growth).

Sales and marketing apps

Ever-popular sales and marketing apps grew 23% by number of customers and 53% by number of unique users over the past year as people tried to grow their businesses even under the threat of a tightening economy. Arts, entertainment and recreation organizations in particular increased their investment in sales and marketing tools 41% YoY by number of customers.

Best apps for remote and hybrid work

The popularity of Kandji, a remote management app for Apple products, is a good sign that a lot of user behavior in business today is driven by remote and hybrid work. Employers have gotten very good at setting up remote work, and the ongoing pandemic has changed a lot of people’s ideas about not only how they want to work, but what their relationship to work overall will be.

Organizations are working on “supporting secure and unhindered remote work, automating mundane tasks through workflows and helping workers take meaningful roles in their community through charitable giving apps,” Okta said.

The average number of apps employees use has stayed about the same between 2022 and 2021. This year, the average customer used 89 different apps, Okta said. That includes both for business and personal use.

Google Workspace and Microsoft 365 maintain their top spots as the most-used productivity suites, whether remote or in-person. Growth slowed down for both apps in terms of number of customers — 32% compared to 38% for Google, and 21% versus 29% for Microsoft.

“Best of breed” apps sometimes rise above the bundles. Zoom is used by 48% of people who also use Microsoft 365. Likewise, Slack has a 36% share of people who use Microsoft 365. There’s quite a lot of overlap between suites. 42% of surveyed workers who use Microsoft 365 customers use Google Workspace. Similarly, 46% of surveyed Okta customers who use Microsoft 365 also use AWS.

Best apps for security and zero trust

Security is a big concern and a big business. Deployment of security tools grew 23% YoY by number of customers and 43% YoY by unique users. Working remotely puts a wrinkle in security, too. It follows that monitoring and remote access security app adoption grew as well, with Palo Alto Networks GlobalProtect, Cisco AnyConnect and AWS Client VPN seeing significant growth.

Zero trust, or assuming any access is untrustworthy until proven otherwise, has become a popular philosophy in security. Zero trust network access solution ZScaler rose up the ranks of top remote access solutions this year, as did newcomer Palo Alto Networks Prisma Access.

Broadly, these are the 10 most popular categories of apps organizations use for digital security.

  1. VPN/firewall.
  2. Endpoint management and security.
  3. Training.
  4. Infrastructure monitoring.
  5. Email security.
  6. Secure web gateway.
  7. Security analytics.
  8. Data loss prevention.
  9. Privileged access management.
  10. Server access.

For more details about the most popular apps for business, see the complete report above or our recommendations for the best business apps. We have tips on apps for travel, tracking business expenses or cybersecurity.

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