Friday, 08 February 2019 04:01

Okta offers app and work insights

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Okta's latest Businesses @ Work report — based on the activities of the company's customers plus a survey of 1200 US knowledge workers — provides insights around the apps and services actually being used at work.

Office 365 still sits in top spot, according to Okta, and the number of active unique users has grown 55% since last year.

However, three-quarters of Office-using Okta customers employ at least one app that overlaps with its functionality. For example, 28% use Slack, 24% use Zoom, and a surprising 28% also subscribe to G Suite.

While G Suite's use is growing more rapidly (up 116%) than Office 365's, the Okta survey found two-thirds of respondents prefer Microsoft Word to Google Docs.

But the fastest growing apps were in the security category, with KnowBe4, LastPass and Proofpoint filling the top three places.

Large companies using Okta use an average of 163 apps – an increase of 68% over the last four years.

A scary result from the survey is that nearly 40% of respondents say they use the same two to four passwords for everything, and 10% use just one. This is generally consistent with the finding that 47% of survey respondents keep their passwords in their memories. More than a quarter use some kind of paper, 15% use a file on their computer, 10% on their phone, and 5% in the cloud. Only 15% use a password manager.

The risk around poor password management is mitigated by the growing use of multifactor authentication. It's now implemented by 70% of companies, up from 65% last year. The most commonly used factors are Okta Verify (not surprising, given that we're talking about Okta customers) and SMS (which is falling into disrepute as a result of weaknesses in the SS7 protocol and SIM swap frauds, so it's not surprising that its use has dropped since last year's Businesses @ Work report.

Other authentication factors being adopted include Google Authenticator, YubiKey and Duo.

The survey side of the report revealed some interesting things about people's attitudes to working life in the second decade of the 21st century.

Meetings were nominated as the top productivity killer by 22% of respondents. Video conferencing isn't the boon some people think it is, as only 14% said they prefer video calls rather than voice calls.

As for working in open-plan offices, that's only favoured by 11%. A full 77% prefer private offices or cubicles. (If you're surprised by that, please leave a comment telling us why.)

Respondents favoured working four 10-hour days over five eight-hour days by more than four to one.

Download the report here.

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Stephen Withers

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Stephen Withers is one of Australia¹s most experienced IT journalists, having begun his career in the days of 8-bit 'microcomputers'. He covers the gamut from gadgets to enterprise systems. In previous lives he has been an academic, a systems programmer, an IT support manager, and an online services manager. Stephen holds an honours degree in Management Sciences and a PhD in Industrial and Business Studies.

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