Knowing which productivity apps are right for your small business and your employees is tough, but looking at what your peer companies can provide a good starting point.

From established companies like Microsoft and its Office 365 suite to upstarts experiencing rapid growth like Slack, productivity apps that purport to help small businesses work smarter abound. However, figuring out which apps will most benefit your employees can be a challenge. How can taking cues from your peers help you pick the right productivity apps for your small business?

Okta recently released their “Businesses @ Work” feature, which takes a look at what productivity apps that the identity management company’s clients use. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Okta found that Office 365 continues to be the most popular productivity app overall, beating out second-place Salesforce.com by almost 30 percent. Office 365 also took the prize for most-used lifecycle management app, though both G Suite and Box are now right on its heels. The Microsoft productivity suite was the top mobile app among Okta’s users as well.

Office 365 Rise

One of the more interesting stories that emerged from Okta’s findings is the continued rise of collaborative chat app Slack. While Slack has been available for three years, it has been able to maintain its quick pace of growth, achieving a 44 percent increase in users over the last year to come in as Okta’s third fastest growing app. Other messaging apps such as HipChat and Yammer saw their market share decline dramatically as their users moved over to Slack. And while certainly, a newcomer compared to Microsoft and Office 365, Slack is performing well against the technology giant’s newly-released Microsoft Teams collaborative messaging feature, particularly among small business users.

What guidance can Okta’s results provide for your small business, and how do you decide what productivity apps are right for your employees? A lot of the decision will come down to your employees’ comfort level with technology and how the way your employees work together to shape their technological demands and looking at what apps are popular among your peers can provide some counsel here. For example, Office 365 tends to strike less tech-savvy users as more familiar and comfortable to use, as shown by its widespread popularity among the majority of employers and employees with varying levels of comfort with technology, while newer and more cutting-edge apps like Slack are often more daunting for those same users. On the other hand, Slack’s continued outpaced growth indicates that a lot of businesses and their employees are finding it useful, particularly given its small business friendly pricing and employee collaboration enabling features.

Ultimately, looking at what your peer companies use is only the starting point. To make the best investment in productivity apps, you must understand the needs of your employees and their work styles. If you’re worried that your small business isn’t making the most of its productivity apps, Western Digitech can help. Our experts can discuss your options and help you understand what solutions best fits your needs. Contact us today at (305) 669-0119 or info@westerndigitech.com to learn more.

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