Enterprise Company Software Numbers

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Enterprise Company Software Numbers

The average number of apps owned or deployed by (a) enterprises with at least 1,000 employees and (b) enterprises with at least 5,000 employees could neither be located in the public domain nor triangulated. However, there are indications that a company has over 1,000 cloud apps on average, and the types of cloud apps a company most commonly deploys are marketing apps, human resources apps, collaboration apps, customer relationship management apps, finance or accounting apps, data analytics and business intelligence apps, development tools, and cloud storage apps.

Helpful Findings

  • Software company Netskope periodically publishes a report indicating the number of cloud apps or services an enterprise has. According to the latest report, the average number of cloud services or apps per enterprise has grown from 1,246 in October 2018 to 1,295 in August 2019. Netskope uses the terms apps and services interchangeably.
  • Unfortunately, Netskope did not detail how large its sample size was or how large the companies in the sample were. It only mentioned that the findings were based on its analysis of hundreds of accounts on its global cloud security platform.
  • Of the 1,295 cloud apps that an enterprise typically has, 120 are marketing apps, 100 are human resources apps, 87 are collaboration apps, 69 are customer relationship management apps, 51 are finance or accounting apps, 50 are data analytics and business intelligence apps, 38 are development tools, and 30 are cloud storage apps.
  • These figures suggest the following percentage distribution: marketing apps (9.27%), human resources apps (7.72%), collaboration apps (6.72%), customer relationship management apps (5.33%), finance or accounting apps (3.94%), data analytics and business intelligence apps (3.86%), development tools (2.93%), and cloud storage apps (2.32%).
  • Even though there may be apps that are not cloud apps, Netskope's finding that an enterprise has 1,295 cloud apps on average contradicts the finding of Okta, an access and identity management company, that large companies in the United States that have at least 2,000 employees deploy an average of 163 apps. Netskope and Okta did not define what they consider an app, but it is apparent that there were differences in definition.
  • Cybersecurity software company Symantec provides a different finding as well. Based on a global study that Symantec conducted, the average company believes it only has 452 cloud apps, but in reality, it has 1.807 cloud apps. Symantec's finding is closer to Netskope's finding, however.
  • According to a global survey conducted by computer security software company Mcafee, a company has 464 custom applications on average, but its information security professionals are typically aware of only 38.4% of these applications. The number of custom applications varies by company size as follows: 1-1,000 employees (22), 1,000-5,000 employees (44), 5,000-10,000 employees (85), 10,000-30,000 employees (208), 30,000-50,000 employees (347), and 50,000+ employees (788).
  • Fliplet, a company offering an enterprise mobile app development platform, conducted a global study of its users, and found that a company, on average, creates 10.6 enterprise mobile apps. The types of enterprise mobile apps that are most often created are as follows: events (30.3%), sales support (15.7%), portals (11.2%), internal communications (9%), internal events (6.7%), marketing (5.6%), training (5.6%), reference (4.5%), client services (3.4%), graduate recruitment (2.2%), news and updates (1.1%), business continuity (1.1%), on-premise data capture (1.1%), emergence management (1.1%), and retail (1.1%).

Research Strategy

We could not locate the average number of deployed apps for the two company sizes that were specified. While there are sources discussing the number of apps in a company, it appears no organization has covered these exact company sizes yet. In our attempt to find the desired figures, we employed a number of strategies. First, since information of this type is often determined through surveys or data analyses, we looked for surveys, analyses, studies, or reports that cover how many apps companies, business, or firms own or deploy. We hoped that with this strategy, we would be able to find numbers specific to the two specified company sizes. Results were unfavorable, though, as we were only able to find the following data points: (1) the average number of apps that large companies with at least 2,000 employees deploy, (2) the average number of cloud apps that companies deploy, (3) the average number of cloud apps or services that companies deploy, and (4) the most common types of cloud apps or services deployed.

Second, since the desired information is not readily available in the public domain, we checked if any of the largest companies, as listed in the Fortune rankings, have disclosed the number of apps they own or deploy. We researched several of the companies listed, but our efforts were unsuccessful. We were unable to locate any large company with 1,000+ employees or 5,000+ employees, or any large company for that matter, that has publicly shared the number of apps it uses.

Third, given the dearth of information particular to the specified company sizes, we expanded our search and looked beyond sources that were published in the past 24 months. With this strategy, we were able to find two useful sources, with one providing the average number of custom apps a company deploys and the number of custom apps different company sizes deploy, and the other providing the average number of the enterprise mobile apps a business creates and the types of enterprise mobile apps often created. As these sources were published in early 2017, the findings provided in these sources may still be relevant.

Below are the calculations we performed using Netskope's report.

Marketing: (120/1,295) x 100% = 9.27%
Human resources: (100/1,295) x 100% = 7.72%
Collaboration: (87/1,295) x 100% = 6.72%
Customer relationship management: (69/1,295) x 100% = 5.33%
Finance or accounting: (51/1,295) x 100% = 3.94
Data analytics and business intelligence: (50/1,295) x 100% = 3.86%
Development tools: (38/1,295) x 100% = 2.93%
Cloud storage: (30/1,295) x 100% = 2.32%