Hybrid work boosts security software, cloud platforms in APAC

Business applications that are clocking the fastest growth by unique users in the Asia-Pacific region are security apps, electronic signature apps and cloud platforms, as users have been turning to a wide range of apps as post-pandemic travel and workstyles evolved in the past year.

This is from the 2023 edition of the yearly Business at Work report, which is based on anonymised data from Okta’s more than 17,000 global customers and the Okta Integration Network — including over 7,000 integrations with cloud, mobile, web apps, and IT infrastructure providers. 

The study included key APAC markets like Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan, China, India, Australia, New Zealand,, South Korea, The Philippines, Malaysia and several other countries in Southeast Asia and Indochina.

“As economies opened up in the past year, businesses and their users turned to a wide range of apps to get work done, from travel apps to book business trips to security tools to shore up cyber defenses,” said Ben Goodman, Okta’s SVP and general manager for APAC. 

“This is a reflection of the new work environments that have emerged, along with the needs of a hybrid work arrangement that is here to stay,” said Goodman.

Findings show that travel apps were among the hottest categories globally in 2022, as business trips resumed with the lifting of pandemic restrictions in many destinations.
These apps enjoyed a 43% year-on-year (YoY) growth by number of customers and 197% growth by unique users across all industries.

At the same time, business supplies — a category that was not in the Top 10 in the 2022 report — showed a 35% increase in customers and a 77% increase in unique users.

Design software continues to rise as it became the third fastest-growing category worldwide this year with 31% YoY growth by number of customers, after chart-topping 39% YoY growth last year globally. In Asia-Pacific, design software is big as well, with Australia seeing a 27% bounce in YoY customer growth.

The region is driving significant growth in security as well. In the region, the use of security tools increased 85% YoY by unique users, while the use of electronic signature tools and developer tools by unique users increased 61% and 55% YoY, respectively. 

Cloud platforms grew among unique users by 50% YoY, while use of analytics tools increased among unique users by 47% YoY.

In APAC, Microsoft 365 is the most popular app by number of users. Amazon Web Services ranks second, and Google Workspace comes in third.

The APAC region is heavily focused on security and developer tools this year. Jamf Pro, Netskope, LastPass, and ZScaler battled for supremacy in the security category. Jamf Pro posted 57% YoY customer growth and 118% YoY growth in unique users.

Globally this year, the fastest growing apps feature a diverse cast, providing expertise in security, communication, corporate travel, HR, cloud-app development, and collaboration.

Top among the fastest growing apps globally is Kandji, an Apple mobile device management tool, which posted 172% YoY growth by number of customers. Kandji, an Okta Ventures portfolio company, enables IT administrators to automate repetitive tasks and introduce new features to the device management space.