The Race for the Cloud Productivity Suite: The Hare or the Tortoise?

Company-wide deployment of cloud applications does not actually live up to the hype, according to new data from Bitglass’ first annual Cloud Adoption Report.

Rich Campagna is VP of Products at Bitglass, driving the company's product management and marketing. Prior to becoming an integral team member at Bitglass, Rich gained valuable experience in product management and sales engineering at Juniper Networks and at Sprint before working as senior director of product management at F5 Networks.


The move towards cloud applications is perhaps the biggest trend in enterprise IT today. Across the industry, startups and established companies alike are battling it out for their piece of a very lucrative revenue stream. Nowhere is this harder fought than in the Microsoft-Google battle for the enterprise productivity suite.

Google Apps (including Gmail) has been available to the enterprise for several years, and Office 365 has had a couple of years to catch up, so we decided to dig into the numbers to see who is winning this battle. We looked at the email platforms for a sampling of 81,253 businesses across a range of industries and company sizes.

The findings: The battle is definitely hard fought, and while Google has a big lead overall, the race is too close to call. One thing is clear – in order to grow this market beyond small, privately held organizations, security concerns must be overcome.

Roughly a quarter of our sample had moved to one of these two platforms, with Google leading the way at 16.3%, and Microsoft trailing at 8.8%. As might be expected, smaller, privately held companies are more likely to have moved versus larger, publicly held companies. Understandable, as larger public companies have regulatory burdens to consider.

Where can you find the most widespread adoption? Unsurprisingly, 37% of technology companies have moved to cloud-based email, handily beating every other vertical. Amongst them, Google Apps is the platform of choice, with nearly three out of four tech companies getting cozy with Silicon Valley over Seattle.

Lagging behind are companies in regulated industries. If you’re employed in healthcare, government and financial services, you’re 40% less likely to use cloud-based email than your peers in other verticals. The reason? Compliance mandates such as HIPAA, PCI DSS and SOX require complete audit records and a stringent approach to data security, magnifying the security concerns.

Across all types of industries, the percentage of enterprises citing security as the reason not to deploy cloud apps rose from 25% to 42% over the past two years. But cloud application providers like Google and Microsoft hire the best security pros and spend large sums on security infrastructure. So where is the gap?  These vendors focus on preventing widespread, service impacting security events – DDOS attacks, malware outbreaks and so on. What they miss is the set of identity, visibility and data leakage prevention capabilities that enterprises typically deploy in their premises’ infrastructures. Fortunately, emerging security technologies for cloud applications give IT organizations more control as they decide between Google and Microsoft.

Cloud-based email is making its way into the enterprise, and will continue to gain traction in the near future. Google may be winning the war so far, but there are many more battles to be fought, not the least of which is the battle to win the high end of the market, which is currently on the sidelines waiting for security.


You can download report in its entirety here:


Rich Campagna is VP of Products at Bitglass