25 Most Popular Cloud Applications and SaaS Services for Business

What are the 25 most popular cloud computing applications and SaaS services for business? Okta claims to have the answer, based on the company's interactions and connections with customers that are plugging into cloud applications.

Familiar names like Microsoft Office 365, Salesforce.com, Box.com and Google Apps top Okta's research-driven list. But you might be surprised to learn which other applications made the list.

First, a little background. Okta is an integrated identity management and mobility management service that securely connects people to their applications. To identify and rank the world's 25 most popular cloud computing applications and SaaS services, Okta "analyzed a dataset of 4,000 applications in addition to thousands of custom integrations, 2,500 enterprise customers and millions of daily authentications and verifications from 185 countries."

In the resulting report, Okta tells readers to "consider this data to be of a directional nature rather than gospel." In other words, look at the growth trajectories of various SaaS apps, rather than head-to-head rankings since there could be photo finishes involved in the rankings footrace, etc.

Now, the Rankings

Still, everybody loves a good list of rankings. So here's the overall top 25 list according to popularity, according to Okta. After Nines Inc.'s comments and observations, if any, are in italics.

1. Microsoft Office 365: Anybody else remember how much the earlier release (Microsoft Business Productivity Online Suite -- BPOS) struggled? Office 365 took nearly a decade to become an overnight hit...
2. Salesforce.com: I still own some shares because Salesforce is now a platform play rather than a CRM play.
3. Box: Still proving me wrong.
4. Google Apps: We've been addicted users since about 2008.
5. Concur: Now owned by SAP. I've never been a huge fan of expense reporting systems. But that's likely because I've never been a fan of expense reports...
6. Amazon Web Services: The emerging king of Infrastructure and Storage as a Service. Though I wonder where Microsoft Azure, IBM's cloud and various Rackspace services rank overall.
7. Zendesk: Far more than a than a help desk service platform... I also wonder... why isn't ServiceNow on this list?
8. Dropbox: The other file sync and sharing service.
9. LinkedIn: Facebook isn't one the list yet... but it has to be moving up the rankings for business use...
10. GoDaddy: Yes, we're a customer.
11. WorkDay: Moving fast beyond SaaS HR into a range of cloud applications...
12. DocuSign: Electronic signature technology isn't sexy. But it is mission-critical.
13. Outlook Web Access -- 2010: Email still has its place.
14. Twitter: A company in turmoil, and a social network filled with noise. Yet, still a key platform for our business.
15. GoToMeeting: I often underestimate Citrix Systems' ability to move into new markets.
16. WebEx (Cisco): The poster child app for Cisco's classic unified communications pitch.
17. Adobe Creative: Many customers complained when Adobe shifted to a SaaS model. But there was no avoiding the model.
18. JIRA (Atlassian): A project management platform.
19. FedEx US: Answering the age-old question: Where's my package?
20. Google Apps Admin: Transforming lots of casual users into cloud geeks.
21. ADP Portal (Employee): A benefits site that the government doesn't run...
22. NetSuite: Are they too niche? Or is that niche the secret to long-term success?
23. Yammer: The social enterprise app. But is Jive catching up?
24. Google Analytics: I'm still addicted.
25. I don't know what's ranked No. 25. The list was only 24 companies long but I figured "25" made for a better headline.

Heads up: Okda's overall report is full of great data and worth a read

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