Google Apps and Microsoft Office 365 are both cloud productivity platforms aimed at companies. But that's where the similarity ends, especially in terms of user demographics.

Google App users tend to be younger and the companies for which they work tend to be younger and smaller, too, according to previously released analysis by BetterCloud. Office 365 users, on the other hand, tend to be more established companies with some legacy IT in the mix.

But both groups are powering to full cloud adoption at a surprisingly fast rate, according to that survey's conclusion.

So … end of story. Or one would think.

But in a new survey, BetterCloud has unearthed additional differences between these two groups — and the platforms themselves.

As we will see, many of these differences are inherent to the platforms and to the demographics of the two user groups. However, in some cases, the differences are stark enough to make note of — including predictions about which platform large enterprises most see themselves migrating to in a full cloud environment.

More Productive, More Collaborative

For starters, organizations using Google Apps are experiencing cost savings of 41 percent while organizations using Office 365 experience cost savings of 27 percent.

The survey also found that 84 percent of enterprises using Google Apps experience increased collaboration compared to 72 percent of Office 365 enterprise organizations.

Other stats from the survey provide more insight into which type of company is using which platform.

For example, Office 365 organizations are more than four times larger and are five years older than Google Apps organizations, while Office 365 IT teams are five times the size of their Google Apps counterparts.

Another telling tidbit: 68 percent of Google Apps organizations roll out Google Apps all at once while 62 percent of Office 365 organizations choose a hybrid deployment strategy.

And now for the money data point:

Today, there are no large enterprises (defined as having 5,000+ employees) running 100 percent of their IT in the cloud on Google Apps or Office 365. But by 2026 those numbers are expected to increase to 74 percent and 57 percent, respectively.

An Interconnected Story

The stats make sense when you consider the history behind Google Apps and Office 365, BetterCloud CEO David Politis told CMSWire.

Google Apps is newer and companies that deployed it were newer and more inclined to put as much as possible in the cloud, he said.

Conversely the Office 365 users tend to have a strong legacy IT infrastructure that is still in use, so they are more gradually shifting to the cloud.

Ergo, users of Google Apps will experience greater cost savings, because moving to the cloud wholesale as they tend to do, is a cost-saving endeavor.

"Think about it. They are saving on licenses, on maintenance, on hardware even. Of course they are experiencing more savings," he said.

Office 365 users are also experiencing savings but not to the same extent for that reason — they are still supporting in part the costs associated with legacy IT.

"The savings metric is directly correlated to the adoption and consumption of cloud savings," Politis said.

The same logic explains why Google App users experience better productivity gains: they are using more of the technology, which is integrated.

Google Apps is the Winner?

As for the 74 percent of large enterprises that say they will be on full cloud deployment using Google Apps by 2026, versus 57 percent for Office 365, that has much to do with the Microsoft's hybrid platform, Politis said.

"Once of the benefits of Microsoft is that it allows you to run in hybrid environment and does it in an elegant manner," he said.

"The Google suite doesn’t have legacy technology – it is all-in for the users, or not."

That is why, Politis said, he likes to describe the two companies this way: Google's approach to the cloud is revolutionary and Microsoft's is evolutionary.

"It is up the company to decide which approach is better suited for them. In the end, though, most of these companies are heading to full, or almost full, cloud deployment."

Title image by Asa Aarons Smith/all rights reserved.