In the enterprise application world there is always a lot of movement, and 2015 was no exception. Okta, a provider of identity management and single sign-on solutions, published its Best of 2015 applications report this week, revealing its data-driven picks for the apps that changed the market the most this past year.
"On the whole, this data supports the trends we’ve seen from over the past few years," Cathy Tanimura, director of Analytics and Big Data at Okta, told Enterprise Apps Today. "Organizations of all kinds are equipping users with new services to increase productivity, while also looking at more sophisticated methods of protecting business information."
One of the hottest technologies of the year is Slack, a collaboration and messaging application. Slack usage across the Okta Application Network grew by a staggering 667 percent in 2015.
"The key to building a product that people love — and one that sees the kind of growth Slack’s seeing in our network — is to create something they didn’t even know they needed, and now they can’t live without," Tanimura said. "Slack did just that, and continues to build on its platform, continuously offering more value to users."
Slack’s growth also suggests that employees want more than just a simple messaging tool to connect at work; they want an attractive interface, a great mobile experience and seamless integrations into everything they do, Tanimura added.
Box and Zendesk: Post-IPO Growth
Okta also observed a trend related to companies that became public though an initial public offering (IPO) in recent years. Of those, cloud storage vendor Box has continued to accelerate its user growth in its post-IPO era as has customer service software vendor Zendesk.
"Both Box and Zendesk recognize the value of partnering with governments, established organizations and major software vendors to build muscle, win big deals and become respected public companies," Tanimura said.
Box recently made headlines for extending its partnership with Salesforce, Tanimura noted. Earlier this year it also announced an alliance with IBM, among others. Both Box and Zendesk have also invested in expanding their own app marketplaces to make their products more valuable to enterprises and their employees.
Everyone Is a Recruiter
Overall though, the fastest growing category of apps in the Okta network in 2015 were recruiting apps and, in particular, Jobvite and Greenhouse.
"You know that old adage, 'everyone’s a salesperson?' Well nowadays, everyone’s a recruiter," Tanimura said. "Businesses are encouraging their employees to recruit friends, family and former coworkers, making everyone within an organization responsible for finding top talent."
Jobvite continues to see growth as the established leader in the category, while Greenhouse is becoming known as the new rising star, she said.
Looking out into 2016, Tanimura expects that the role of the CIO will continue to become increasingly crucial to the success of an enterprise.
"IT leaders will be required to support critical services and take responsibility for business goals like revenue growth, increased productivity and better customer experiences," Tanimura said. "At the same time, headlines about costly breaches serve as a constant reminder of the need to protect data. In 2016, we predict security decision makers to also become key players in digital initiatives."
Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at Enterprise Apps Today and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.