Netskope Unveils New Cloud Report: Enterprises Have Average of 397 Cloud Apps in Use, 10x More Than IT Estimates

January 28, 2014

  • 77 percent of cloud apps are not enterprise ready
  • Twitter is the most popular cloud app in the enterprise
  • Enterprises use an average of 35 cloud HR and 18 Finance/Accounting apps
  • Three of the top 10 cloud apps are Storage, and enterprises use an average of 26 such apps 

LOS ALTOS, Calif. – January 28, 2014 – Netskope, the leader in cloud app analytics and policy enforcement, today released its second quarterly Netskope Cloud Report™ .  The report is also available on the Netskope blog and includes the most interesting trends based on aggregated, anonymized data from the Netskope Active Platform. Data was collected from billions of cloud app events seen across hundreds of thousands of users during Q4 2013. The report revealed that cloud app adoption continues to spread across virtually every business function, from marketing to human resources. However, while enterprise app use continues to grow, IT is still in the dark about its usage – on average IT professionals underestimated cloud app use in their organizations by 10X, with the typical enterprise using 397 apps. Additionally, 77 percent of cloud apps are not enterprise-ready, leaving IT with the challenge of securing 10 times more apps than they thought they needed to secure.[1]

The report unveiled the most popular cloud apps in the enterprise, as defined by the number of distinct app sessions.[2]. Twitter tops the list and has become increasingly relevant in business as marketers, salespeople, research and development professionals, and executives find social media to be an impactful tool. While popular consumer apps Facebook and LinkedIn also ranked high, they did not make the top 10.

According to Sanjay Beri, Netskope CEO, “The Netskope Cloud Report this quarter focuses on active cloud app usage and gives IT and business decision-makers insights into the actual number of apps being used across the typical enterprise, as well as which apps are most popular, which actions people are using them for, and the potential risks associated with those activities. What is most surprising is how dramatically IT typically underestimates app adoption, which sheds light on how large of an issue securing cloud apps has become for the enterprise.”

The top 10 cloud apps in terms of usage in the Netskope Active Platform include:

Cloud App, Category

1. Twitter, Consumer

2. Dropbox, Storage

3. Google Drive, Storage

4. Salesforce.com, CRM/Salesforce Automation

5. Box, Storage/Collaboration

6. LiveChat, Help Desk

7. Evernote, Productivity

8. Zendesk, Help Desk

9. Concur, Finance/Accounting

10. SuccessFactors, HR

35 HR Apps per Enterprise

The five most prevalent cloud app categories in the Netskope Active Platform are: Marketing, with 51 cloud apps per enterprise; HR with 35 apps; Storage with 26 apps; and CRM/SFA and Collaboration, with 23 apps each.

Perhaps the most striking of these is the number of HR apps per enterprise. While HR is a broad category, with specific apps for benefits, salary, performance, time-tracking, and more, an average of 35 HR apps per enterprise raises security and compliance concerns for IT professionals. Netskope’s Cloud Report also found the number of Storage apps per enterprise to be remarkably high at 26. Unlike Marketing and HR, which cover a broad set of functions, Storage apps are narrower in scope, and have redundant functionality. Even organizations that have chosen to standardize on one Storage app like Dropbox or Google Drive have discovered a “long tail” of such apps that are unsanctioned but in use.

What are People Doing in Cloud Apps?
The most common activities in cloud apps are edit, view, download, post, and share. Activities such as upload, share, and download are among the most watched in the Netskope Active Platform because they can signal data leakage or compliance violations. Today, the vast majority of policy violations result in an “alert” action versus a “block.” To date, the ability to block specific activities within cloud apps has been relatively nascent in the market, and IT professionals are now starting to wrap their arms around which activities are being performed before they begin limiting activities.

Netskope Resources

About Netskope

Netskope is the leader in cloud app analytics and policy enforcement. Only Netskope eliminates the catch-22 between being agile and being secure and compliant by providing complete visibility, enforcing sophisticated policies, and protecting data in cloud apps. The Netskope Active Platform™ performs deep analytics and lets decision-makers create policies in a few clicks that prevent leakage of sensitive data and optimize cloud app usage in real-time and at scale, whether IT manages the app or not. With Netskope, people get their favorite cloud apps and the business can move fast, with confidence.

Netskope is headquartered in Los Altos, California. Visit us at www.netskope.com and follow us on Twitter @Netskope.


[1] The Netskope Cloud Confidence Index™ is a database of nearly 3,000 cloud apps that are evaluated on 30+ objective enterprise-readiness criteria adapted from Cloud Security Alliance guidance, including security, auditability, and business continuity. The results of the evaluation are normalized to a 0-100 score and mapped to five levels from “poor” to “excellent.”

[2] A session is a distinct time period in which a user logs into an app, performs a series of activities, and then ceases to work in the app for a period of time. Existing usage metrics (e.g., HTTP sessions) are often inaccurate because users don’t always log out following active usage. Netskope has developed a proprietary heuristic to measure a more accurate period of activity, which we define as a session. Usage is defined as number of discrete sessions.