For much of the 21st century, managed service providers (MSPs) have had to physically go to their clients to implement IAM. That meant installing servers, configuring software solutions, and managing in-house identity management infrastructure on-prem.
Cloud innovations changed the IT environment, creating the possibility of remote management tools, but the disparity between vendors can make managing identities a pain. That’s why, for MSPs, the concept of cloud-based, multi-tenant IAM is a welcome one.
Why Cloud-Based Multi-Tenant IAM?
Before the rise of cloud-based solutions, MSPs and other IT service providers traveled in between client offices to interact with their IT infrastructure directly, performing general maintenance and addressing red-flag issues as needed. Known as the “break-fix” model, this practice was a necessary evil of its time. After all, little IT infrastructure existed outside a client’s four walls, so MSPs had to address problems at their source.
To this day, many consultants and IT service providers still rely on this method to deliver their services. Unfortunately, many MSPs are finding that the time spent on truck rolls between clients drives up overhead costs while limiting the amount of clientele they can take on due to time constraints. Thankfully, the cloud and cloud-based software have revolutionized the field of IT services, meaning MSPs can spend less time in client offices and even less time on the road among them.
For example, remote monitoring and management (RMM) tools allow MSPs to manage machines as necessary from almost anywhere, worldwide. Productivity suites and other tools have multi-tenancy features that enable MSPs to remotely manage other core digital services across client organizations. Using single sign-on (SSO) and Identity-as-a-Service (IDaaS) achieves similar results for web application authentication.
Finding Multi-Tenant Options
Of course, these tools only cover part of the greater whole that is identity and access management. As more and more solutions offer multi-tenant management options, the next logical step would be to provide comprehensive, multi-tenant IAM — entirely from the cloud.
By default, many IAM platforms are built for the needs of a single organization — but any administrator with the need to manage multiple organizations can save time with a unified location to manage all accounts.
G Suite™ and Azure® Active Directory® are two tools that MSPs often use for cloud-based multi-tenant IAM. These solutions provide benefits specific to their ecosystems, but neither can be considered comprehensive.
Modern client organizations leverage resources from more vendors than just Google and Microsoft. Using individual IAM tools for all of them creates identity silos, meaning MSPs need to navigate between each tool to properly manage an individual organization, not to mention every other client as well.
Multi-Tenant IAM in the Cloud
With a wide range of modern resources that need management, MSPs need a multi-tenant IAM tool that is:
- Cloud-based but on-prem friendly
- Optimized for MSPs’ needs
Although it may sound far fetched to achieve all of this from a single solution, a cloud directory service featuring a Multi-Tenant Portal (MTP) covers an MSP’s IAM needs while centralizing management in a single pane of administrative glass.
Want to read more about multi-tenant IAM? We’ve compiled this resource on the top 5 benefits MSPs gain from cloud IAM.