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Even as new cloud-based collaboration tools like Box, Slack, Google’s G Suite and Salesforce enter the workplace, with more than 127 million users, Microsoft Office 365 is still the king of enterprise applications. Because many knowledge workers spend their days in the Office Suite, we at harmon.ie sought to find out how adoption, usage and the value users are deriving from it has changed over the past year.

As such, our new survey, The Office 365 app usage report 2018,” explores whether or not people are really using all that Office 365 has to offer. The short answer? No. According to the survey results, tried and true Outlook remains the most used application among enterprise workers across all age groups, job functions and industries. The survey, which queried more than 1,000 business professionals worldwide regarding their use of Office 365, found that respondents are five-times more likely to use Outlook as their go-to app, compared to other Office apps such as SharePoint and OneDrive.

So, despite the hype around new collaboration tools including Microsoft Teams, email is still the king of the enterprise app ecosystem. Here are some of the other key findings:

  • 55 percent of respondents indicated that Outlook is their most used Office 365 app, with 58 percent of respondents indicating they use it 10 times a day or more.
  • A majority (38 percent) expect to use Outlook the same amount in the future, with 27 percent expecting to use it a lot more.
  • Microsoft Teams is getting a lot of attention, but only 16 percent of users indicated Teams as one of their top three apps, compared to 75 percent who indicated email as one of their top three apps. Teams is relatively young compared to Outlook, which may play a factor in the adoption rate.
  • Of all job roles, accountants, human resources and creative roles are the least likely to use Outlook as one of their top 3 apps (35 percent, 41 percent and 47 percent), while senior management reports the most reliance on email (93 percent list it as one of their top three apps).
  • In terms of industries, over 90 percent of construction and education respondents count Outlook as one of their top three apps (highest), while marketing and military report the lowest usage at around 55 percent (as one of their top 3 apps).
  • Surprisingly, a higher percentage of small companies use Office 365 as their main hub for all work (26 percent) – whereas 21 percent of large companies (1,000+ employees) use it as their main hub. Additionally, employees at larger organizations (15 percent) have more choice over their apps than smaller companies (12.6 percent) do.

It’s clear that email is and has been a ‘Suite’ spot for professionals across the globe, and it’s no surprise why. It’s collaborative, easy to use and even despite application updates, the interface has remained largely the same for years. While this sounds all well and good, the fact of the matter is, people are required to use multiple applications to get work done. In fact, the average enterprise worker uses more than 9 apps to complete projects in a given work day (The False Promise of the App Economy). If organizations expect employees to start using new collaboration tools, they need to do a better job of effectively integrating them into their current workflows, rather than overwhelming them with new and complicated user interfaces.

This is exactly what harmon.ie’s solution aims to do: alleviate the stress and productivity loss of toggling between apps and instead serve as a context anchor, bringing information from all work tools and applications to where workers spend the most time: Outlook. This allows people to focus on meaningful work, rather than searching for information they need or getting bogged down with navigating new systems or tools.

The fact is, Outlook isn’t going anywhere, so instead of trying to fight it, it’s best to find a way to join the team and make life a little easier for your employees in the process. If you’re interested in learning more about how enterprise workers are using Office 365, download the full report here.   

For more information about how harmon.ie can help you get the most out of your Microsoft investment, get in touch with us today.

David Lavenda
Chief Product Officer