How many apps does an enterprise use?

How many digital tools are integrated within a corporation’s processes? How complex is it to manage an increasing number of software applications utilized in a business? In what ways does the extensive use of apps affect an enterprise? These are pressing questions that might prompt corporations to rethink their digital tool strategies.

The surging dependency on apps has complicated operations in large corporations, with statistics indicating that an average enterprise uses nearly 300 apps. According to the cloud security firm Okta’s annual “Businesses @ Work” report, businesses are deploying more apps than ever before. McAfee’s Cloud Adoption and Risk Report also corroborates this trend, pointing out that organizations approximately use 464 custom applications. However, managing these applications becomes an overwhelming task that increases the likelihood of inefficiencies and security breaches. Hence, it is suggested that enterprises should streamline their use of apps and adapt a more strategic approach in using digital tools.

In this article, you will learn about the various aspects related to the use and management of apps in an enterprise. The various subtopics to be discussed include the pros and cons of using multiple apps, the implications of app dependency, methods to streamline app usage, and strategies to ensure coherent integration of these digital tools within an enterprise’s ecosystem.

Further, we will delve into renowned studies that highlight the growing phenomenon of app usage in businesses and discuss expert takes on effectively handling this trend. Our insights will serve as a guide for enterprises grappling with complexities emerging from app overload.

How many apps does an enterprise use?

Key Definitions Regarding Enterprise Applications

Enterprise: In general terms, an enterprise is a business or company. However, in the context of information technology, an enterprise can refer to any large organization that utilizes computers, software, and technology in its operations.
Enterprise Apps: These are computer applications that enterprises use to solve enterprise-wide problems, streamline operations, and assist in the optimization of processes. They are integral in enhancing the organization’s efficiency and productivity.
A typical enterprise may use anywhere between 300 to 400 apps. This number can vary depending on the size of the enterprise, its industry orientation, and its level of technological integration. The range of applications includes productivity tools, data management systems, communication software, HR systems, and more.

Exploring the Surprising Abundance of Enterprise Apps in the Modern Industry

Today’s businesses operate within a technologically sophisticated ecosystem laden with enterprise apps designed to streamline operations, improve productivity, and facilitate growth. A recent study by Netskope revealed that an average enterprise uses over 1,295 cloud services, which includes all types of cloud-hosted software, and not solely mobile applications.

Business enterprise applications

Microsoft 365 Apps for Enterprise

Enterprise Business apps generator

Salesforce Customer 360

Apple at work Enterprise

The Prevalence of Enterprise Apps

In an increasingly digital world, apps have become essential tools in facilitating business operations. This prevalence can be attributed to the versatility and utility that such apps offer. From project management and business analytics to team collaboration and customer relationship management, there is an array of enterprise apps that have integrated themselves into daily business practices. Moreover, they provide a quick means of automating routine tasks, which would have otherwise been time-consuming and resource-draining.

  • Project Management Apps: These allow teams to track, manage and collaborate on various tasks. Notable examples include Monday and Asana.
  • Team Collaboration Apps: These provide a platform for communication and collaboration among team members. Slack and Microsoft Teams are leading the charge in this category.
  • Customer Relationship Management Apps: These help businesses manage and analyze customer interactions and data. Salesforce dominates this sector.

The Explosion of App Usage

Aside from the evident need for automation and efficiency, the explosion of app usage within enterprises can be tied to the Covid-19 pandemic’s digital shift. The sudden switch to remote working models meant that businesses had to rapidly adopt applications to facilitate remote teamwork and project management. Consequently, the dependency on enterprise apps has ballooned, with businesses becoming increasingly reliant on these tools for the day-to-day management of their operations.

Furthermore, more businesses are now exploring bespoke enterprise apps tailored to their specific needs. These custom-made apps provide the benefit of high scalability and flexibility, allowing companies to adjust functionalities as per their evolving demands. The potency of this trend is such that a 2020 Gartner survey found that custom enterprise app development had grown more than 20% compared to the previous year.

Despite the abundance of enterprise apps, companies need to exercise meticulous discretion in choosing apps. The focus should be on opting for apps that align with their business model and can effectively improve workflow, productivity, and overall operational efficiency. It is not necessarily about the number of apps a company uses, rather, it’s about how well those apps are leveraged to drive success in an ever-changing business landscape.

Unveiling the Complexities: Enterprise Apps Usage in Different Business Sectors

A Multitude in the Enterprise: Deciphering the True Extent

Is the count of applications utilized by an enterprise truly as critical as we tend to believe? More crucial than the sheer amount is the efficiency and integration of the application stack. A report by Okta indicates that an enterprise, on average, deploys 88 applications. However, enterprises that are more technologically inclined may utilize more than 200 distinct applications. The surge in the number of applications is primarily driven by the digital transformation initiated by enterprises to streamline their operations and raise productivity. Nonetheless, this app sprawl often results in operational complexities and IT security issues, thereby leading us to the core issue.

The Impediment: Handling the Jigsaw of Enterprise Applications

The real challenge for organizations is not just in the implementation of numerous applications but in their management, ensuring minimal overlap and maximum utilization. As the application landscape expands, it exacerbates the complexities and costs associated with licensing, integration, and security. The organizations, therefore, struggle to manage the intricate network of applications that inadvertently emerge. Furthermore, siloed apps can stifle productivity, instead of elevating it, and can impede access to real-time data, disrupting decision-making processes. Hence, organizations must find a balance; they need the right combination of applications that are not only valuable as standalone but also function synergistically with each other.

Getting it Right: Gleaning the Best Practices

A highly effective strategy that has been adopted by several successful organizations involves the classification and consolidation of applications. Application rationalization is a technique where municipal applications are identified, evaluated, and minimized to an optimal number that meets business requirements without sacrificing security and productivity. For instance, a well-known pharmaceutical organization simplified its application landscape by adopting a cloud-first policy, resulting in a leaner application grid. Likewise, a notable finance sector employer made use of artificial intelligence (AI) and automation to integrate 40 percent of its applications, ensuring interoperability and enhancing operational efficiency. These illustrations underscore the value of a refined, consolidated application strategy for businesses, showing the path towards an optimized, manageable application environment.

Thriving in the Digital Age: How Many Enterprise Apps Does Your Business Really Need?

Thought-Provoking Questions Around Enterprise Apps

Is it possible that businesses are overdoing their app usage? The proliferation of apps within enterprises indeed mirrors the rapid digital transformation happening across industries globally. As companies race to digitize their operations, apps outlining various functionalities are becoming integral in business models. According to a report by Blissfully, a typical small-to-mid-sized business uses an average of about 102 apps. This number only increases for larger corporations.

While sheer amount of apps may paint a picture of advanced digital transformation, it’s crucial to question the extent and necessity. Are these apps adding value to the business, or are they causing friction and expense? The key is not in the quantity, but in the quality and vitalness of the apps used.

Pinpointing the Main Problem

The challenge businesses face in this app-rich environment is twofold. Firstly, while digitization brings efficiency, over-complication could breed inefficiency. A multitude of apps can cause user-interface dilemmas, leading to employee frustration and decreased productivity. Workforces might find it challenging to navigate through numerous apps, each with unique workflows. Also, data silos can emerge, where important information gets trapped within different apps, hindering a unified organisational insight.

Secondly, the financial implications of multiple app subscriptions can add up. Although one app might seem inexpensive, the collective cost of many can be significantly high, especially when some apps are underutilized or not utilized at all. The consequence then is not just a drained budget, but also lost value.

Adopting a Streamlined Approach

Successful enterprises adopt a streamlined approach to app usage. Atlassian, for instance, uses fewer, more comprehensive apps which serve multiple purposes — a one-stop-shop for employees to do their tasks. Implementing this strategy has ruminated efficiency — no time wasted in moving from one app to another, and no lost data amidst the various apps. This approach has also scaled down costs, with the enterprise only paying for apps that are actually bringing value.

Similarly, IBM has taken the bold move of creating its own proprietary app — the IBM toolbox. This unique app serves well-defined functions tailored for their employees. While this move required an initial investment, the streamlined, convenient usage and control over data make it worthwhile.

To thrive in the digital age, businesses need to be purposeful and strategic in choosing their apps. The direction is not towards more apps, but towards more value-oriented, streamlined app usage.


Isn’t it interesting to ponder the sheer volume of applications an enterprise might use in their day-to-day operations? As we’ve seen through this article, the number can vary significantly, largely depending on the size and nature of the business, and multifariousness of tasks they handle. On average, a standard enterprise may leverage between 600 to 800 applications. However, in the digital age where business processes are increasingly intertwined with automation and digital tools, that number can skyrocket into several thousands. This points to the integral role of applications in streamlining workflows and overall operations, shedding light on the complexity and sophistication of current enterprise IT ecosystems.

In light of this subject matter, we strongly encourage you to engage with our blog regularly. We continue to delve into similar intriguing topics that touch on the ever-evolving world of technology, the digital transformation journey of enterprises, and how these become game-changers in the business landscape. Most importantly, we remain steadfast in keeping you attuned to the diverse and dynamic field of applications in business, from tracking tools to social media channels, to project management software, and far beyond. Each post explores a unique aspect, offering fresh insights into the unfolding digital narrative.

And as we wrap up this discussion and gear up towards the next mind-engaging blog posts we have lined up, we’d like to emphasize on the anticipation for our upcoming releases. Your continued readership not only drives us to dig deeper into these subjects. It also inspires us to bring you the latest, culturally relevant insights within the ever-changing landscape of enterprise applications. Remember, in the realm of digital transformation, every day heralds something new and staying on top of these trends could be the game-changer for your business. Stay tuned, stay informed, and let’s continue pushing the boundaries of business as we know it!


1. What is the average number of applications used by an enterprise?
On average, an enterprise uses between 300 and 400 applications. However, this number greatly varies depending on the size and nature of the business.

2. Why do enterprises use so many applications?
Enterprises use a multitude of applications to facilitate various business functions like HR, sales, marketing, operations, etc. They contribute to efficiency, innovation, and agility in executing tasks and achieving goals.

3. Is it necessary for all businesses to use a large number of applications?
No, it’s not necessary for all businesses to use a large number of applications. The number of applications a business should use generally depends on its specific needs, size and workflow complexity.

4. How does the number of applications an enterprise uses impact its operations?
The number of applications used can both positively and negatively impact an enterprise. While they can increase efficiency and productivity, they can also introduce complexities, especially if not managed and integrated properly.

5. What are the risks associated with using a large number of applications in an enterprise?
Using a large number of applications can lead to a lack of system integration and data management difficulties. Additionally, it can introduce security vulnerabilities if each application is not properly secured.