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Top 15 Most Popular SaaS, Cloud Apps for Business 2020

Which cloud applications and SaaS offerings are most popular with business users? The sixth-annual Business @ Work report, from Okta, pinpoints the 15 most widely used SaaS and cloud applications. The report is based on real-world monitoring and analytics data rather than customer surveys.

Here’s a look at this year’s Okta list, along with ChannelE2E’s channel-centric observations about each SaaS and cloud offering. Note: The Okta research was published before the coronavirus pandemic -- which has driven even more consumption of SaaS and cloud apps.

Most Popular Cloud Apps 2020 by Number of Customers

1. Microsoft Office 365: No surprise here. Check ChannelE2E's Top 100 Vertical Market MSP list for 2020 (coming later this month), and you'll notice that channel partners consider Microsoft's SaaS suite as the top offering in their business software toolkits.

2. Salesforce: It's hard to debate this one as well. Amid strong business demand for Salesforce deployments, the company's channel partners and Salesforce IT consulting firms continue to buy one another.

3. Amazon Web Services (AWS): Known best as an IaaS platform, AWS continues to attract public cloud MSPs to back Amazon's cloud.

4. Google G-SuiteGive the search giant credit. After hiring Oracle veteran Thomas Kurian as CEO of Google Cloud, the business has gained momentum through new partner programs and acquisitions. Among the most recent partner wins: SADA, a Top 200 public cloud MSP, in February 2020 committed to driving $500 million in revenues for Google Cloud Platform (GCP) over the next three years.

5. Atlassian Product SuiteThe company's software allows software developers, IT service desks and other types of teams to collaborate. From time to time, Atlanssian has been the subject of Google Cloud takeover rumors.

6. SlackThe popular Microsoft Teams alternative also has some momentum in the MSP market. For instance, a next-generation MSP called Electric leverages Slack for its customer support systems.

7. Zoom: Okta's report was published long before Zoom security concerns went mainstream. But even amid those concerns, Zoom's user base grew amid the Work From Home (WFH) craze driven by the Coronavirus pandemic,.

8. BoxYou know about the classic competition vs. Dropbox (ranked 14, below). But more recently, Box has faced activist investor pressures from the likes of Starboard Value. Even when you rank among the world's most popular SaaS applications, some investors always seem to want "more."

9. SAP Concur: The travel and expense management platform was wildly popular ahead of the coronavirus pandemic. But as business travel slows, the platform may need to promote some additional use cases to partners and customers.

10. Cisco Meraki: A pioneer in cloud-based networking, Cisco Meraki remains a trend setter for MSPs seeking multi-tenant management capabilities.

11. DocuSignThe e-signature platform will surely get another boost amid the coronavirus pandemic -- as law firms and legal teams increasingly leverage digital documents for business transactions of all types.

12. Zendesk: The SaaS giant now offers IT service management and CRM management tools. And other the past year, Zendesk has been building out a network of global systems integrators.

13. GitHub: Built for developers, GitHub attracted Microsoft as a new owner in 2018. Here are five reasons why Microsoft spent $7.5 billion to acquire GitHub.

14. Dropbox: The Box rival has a strong following in the SMB channel, and has made these moves in recent years...

15. Lucidchart: This is a web-based platform allows users to collaborate on drawing, revising and sharing charts and diagrams. It's a popular tool for helping IT service desks design processes to provision and troubleshoot technology issues.

Joe Panettieri

Joe Panettieri is co-founder & editorial director of MSSP Alert and ChannelE2E, the two leading news & analysis sites for managed service providers in the cybersecurity market.