Okta’s Businesses at Work 2019 report contains some interesting market share data about office suites, which today essentially means Microsoft Office and Google Docs. The data is collected from customers of Okta’s identity management software, which means it’s based almost entirely on businesses rather than individuals:
To create all our Businesses @ Work reports, we anonymize Okta customer data from our network of thousands of companies, applications, and IT infrastructure integrations, and millions of daily authentications and verifications from countries around the world. Our customers and their employees, contractors, partners, and customers use Okta to log in to devices, apps and services, and leverage security features to protect their sensitive data. Our customers span every major industry and vary in size, from small businesses to enterprises with hundreds of thousands of employees or millions of customers. As you read this report, keep in mind that this data is representative of Okta’s customers, the applications we connect to, and the ways in which users access these applications through our service.
If you’re in the tech industry, where Google has significantly more mind share, you might be surprised to learn that Microsoft Office has twice as many customers than Google Docs, and they’re growing at a good clip:
Office 365 increased its lead and continues to dominate the total pool of apps by number of customers, and it’s growing its active unique users by 55% year over year.
The tech industry’s preference for Google Docs is called out in the report:
Companies investing in developer tools are three times as likely to deploy G Suite as are “non-developers” (companies without any developer tools). Our data shows that 46% of companies with at least one developer tool also have G Suite, vs. only 17% of non-developers.
But the most interesting bit to me is that while Google Docs is growing faster (“G Suite’s user base is growing more quickly than Office 365’s, at 116% year over year”), its customers appear to be using it less. While Microsoft Office has twice as many customers as Google Docs, they have three times as many monthly active unique users. In other words, Google Docs customers appear to be depending on their office suite less. This phenomena is explicitly mentioned in Okta’s report for 2017:
We discovered that G Suite customers use 30% more apps on average than Office 365 customers (29 apps compared to 22). More isn’t always better, but it certainly can be. Our data shows G Suite customers are employing a best-of-breed IT strategy to build out their cloud ecosystem. G Suite customers are more likely to use apps like Salesforce, Slack, Amazon Web Services and GitHub than their Office 365-subscribed counterparts. They’re adopting apps to meet specific needs versus investing in an entire cloud app stack up front.
Finally, Microsoft Office users also just plain like their office suite more than G Suite users:
Microsoft has long established itself as a workplace necessity, and thus has its fair share of loyal users. Our survey found that 67% of knowledge workers prefer Microsoft Word over Google Docs, while only 15% report the opposite. When it comes to email, 49% prefer Microsoft Outlook over Gmail, while 35% report the opposite.