Since I started working in technology 20+ years ago, I've seen companies of all sizes, regions and industries clamber to adopt certain technologies. I've seen others refuse to even consider making changes until they've lost too much momentum to recover. I also recently told Inc. that we're in first inning of cloud, so I thought it would be interesting to take a look at Okta's dataset of thousands of companies, applications and millions of daily authentications to see which industries are adopting what kind of cloud applications. Here is a breakdown of what I found:

1) Internet and Software: Not surprisingly, the companies developing cloud technologies are the ones adopting them the most aggressively. Almost 90% of the internet and software companies in Okta's network have brought on mail and core apps (like Office 365 or Google Apps), as well as sales and marketing apps (i.e. Salesforce, Marketo, SurveyMonkey or Mailchimp). And more than 60% have also brought on developer tools (i.e. JIRA, GitHub, PagerDuty, New Relic or Twilio), social media apps (like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn), document storage (Box, Dropbox), messaging apps (such as Slack, HipChat or Yammer), HR apps (i.e. ADP, Workday, SuccessFactors) and cloud platforms (like AWS, Azure or Google Public Cloud).

2) Marketing and Advertising: Another industry taking full advantage of the range of cloud applications is marketing and advertising. More than 80% of our customers are using cloud mail and core apps, as well as sales and marketing apps; over 70% adopted document storage and social media, and over 50% of the Marketing and Advertising firms in our network are even adopting cloud platforms, developer tools and communications apps.

3) Biotechnology and Pharmaceuticals: In our network, biotech and pharmaceutical companies are also leading the charge when it comes to cloud adoption and enabling mobile workforces, with many pharmaceutical reps now carrying nothing more than a tablet on doctor sales call tours. We've seen first-hand evidence of this trend with customers like AMAG Pharmaceuticals, which completely ripped out its legacy IT systems and went all cloud a few years ago, and Shire Pharmaceuticals, which brought on cloud applications to better communicate and collaborate with third parties. Our data shows that 81% of biotech and pharma companies like AMAG, Shire and others have adopted cloud mail and core apps, and around 60% have brought on sales and marketing, document storage and even HR applications.

4) Real Estate: Almost 80% of real estate firms in our network--companies like REA Group and Pennrose--are adopting the mainstream cloud applications like mail and core, and sales and marketing; and 60% have brought on social media and document storage apps, but a much smaller percentage have expanded into cloud platforms (24%) and developer tools (31%).

5) Not-for-Profit: The nonprofits in our network--some of which include Rotary International, the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Goodwill, Girl Scouts and more--are also bringing on mainstream cloud apps. Over 90% are using cloud-based email and core apps and 50% have brought on cloud communications apps as well. They've been slower to adopt cloud platforms, developer tools and expense management though--only about 30% of the nonprofits in our network use cloud apps in those categories.

6) Retail: We've seen significant traction with traditional and online retail companies, working with Overstock.com, Men's Wearhouse, Tommy Bahama and Trunk Club as they move to the cloud. 70% of the retail companies in our network are adopting cloud mail apps and 64% are bringing on social apps, but only 38% have cloud messaging apps--even less are storing documents in the cloud, or using expense management and cloud platforms.

7) Construction: With inherently disparate workforces between the field and office, construction businesses like Carlisle Construction can benefit from cloud and mobile technologies to access information from any job site at any time. Construction companies have impressive adoption of cloud apps in some categories (over 64% in email, sales and marketing, social media and document storage), but lower adoption rates other categories. Around 30% of construction companies use cloud expense management and messaging apps, and only 18% use developer tools.

8) Hospitals and Healthcare: From patient apps to wearable devices and digital medical records, the health industry is undergoing a digital makeover. Over half of our customers in hospitals and healthcare have brought on document storage, HR, social media, and sales and marketing apps, and 72% use a cloud mail and core app. 41% or less use developer tools, expense management and messaging apps in the cloud, and only 23% are using a cloud platform.

9) Education: With more than 120 schools and 15,000 students, School of Rock's Sam Dresser understands today's education technology needs: "Every tool and platform that we offer has to not just be mobile friendly, it needs to be mobile first and mobile complete." Despite clear needs, the organizations in education in our network are just getting started in the cloud. 87% use a cloud app for email, 52% use sales and marketing tools or social media apps, around 40% are using cloud HR systems or document storage, around 30% have adopted cloud platforms or messaging, and 24% are using developer tools and expense management.

10) Finance: Although lagging in cloud adoption of some app categories like cloud platforms (27% of our customers in finance are using a cloud platform), developer tools (32% have adopted), messaging apps, expense management and HR apps (for which adoption rates are all around 40%), over 70% of financial organizations in our network have put their email and sales and marketing tools in the cloud--evidence that the last verticals are falling, joining the cloud revolution.

Published on: May 6, 2016