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Office 365 overtakes Google Apps as business users' preferred cloud productivity suite

Use of Microsoft cloud suite has risen steeply over the past 12 months, leaving Google Apps trailing, research shows

Microsoft Office 365 has overtaken Google Apps to become the cloud-based business productivity suite of choice for small and larger firms, new research suggests.

According to Bitglass’s second annual Cloud Adoption Report, Office 365 has passed Google Apps to become the lead provider of email and online productivity tools to businesses over the past 12 months.

This conclusion is based on the results of an analysis of cloud traffic data generated by 120,000 organisations across the globe, and suggests enterprises are becoming increasingly comfortable with moving more of their IT off-premise.

The research shows that adoption of Office 365 has increased by 300% since last year’s report, and is now used by 25.2% of businesses, up from 7.7% in 2014.

Despite this, companies are still turning to Google to fulfil their productivity needs, as use of its productivity tools has increased from 16.3% to 22.8% over the same period.

Bitglass said the use of Office 365 seems to be accelerating particularly in enterprises with 500 or more employees, and those operating in highly-regulated industries. 

Overall, the cloud security supplier’s research shows that nearly half (48%) of organisations now rely on cloud-based email and productivity tools, with EMEA’s appetite for off-premise technologies proving bigger than North America’s.

Read more about cloud adoption trends

The report’s findings suggest 59% of businesses within EMEA now use cloud computing services, compared with 48% in North America.

Nat Kausik, CEO of Bitglass, said the report’s findings suggest cloud is becoming an increasingly accepted part of IT life within the enterprise.

“Cloud adoption is at an all-time high and Microsoft is winning over Google,” said Kausik. “The surprise is that large corporations, even in heavily regulated industries, are gaining confidence in using cloud apps.

“The increased focus on security, including the emergence of third-party security services from cloud access security brokers, is filling critical gaps, paving the way for broader adoption of cloud apps in the enterprise.”

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