Centralized Identity Management

Written by Rajat Bhargava on June 25, 2015

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Business is moving faster, but it’s also getting more complicated. With cloud infrastructure, Web-based applications, and BYOD, the number of identities at the average organization just keeps going up. To make things simpler, IT organizations worldwide are seeking to centralize their identity management.

But often these organizations have on-premises directory services, such as Microsoft Active Directory® or OpenLDAP™. These conventional options were able to function as the central identity management source when networks were simple.  But in today’s decentralized business world, AD and OpenLDAP can no longer serve as the central identity management platform. Both legacy software solutions are limited in their ability to support modern IT infrastructure components.

Characteristics of Centralized Identity Management Today

Major innovations in the IT industry have shaken up what it takes to achieve centralization of identities. Today, a central identity management platform must have the following characteristics:

Heterogeneous Platform Support –

cross platform centralized identity management

The days of platforms being homogenous are long gone. Macs® have risen to prominence and Linux is here to stay. Bring your own device (BYOD) methodologies further exacerbate this IT challenge. Centralized identity management platforms support a wide variety of platforms and application types. The smart way to achieve this is by supporting a wide variety of standards-based protocols which ensures compatibility and support across a broad spectrum of IT resources including devices, applications, and networks.

Cloud and On-Premises –

IT resources are located virtually across the world. To centralize all the identities at home and abroad, a management platform must be able to seamlessly merge identities and IT resources across both the cloud and on-premises. Users are more mobile than ever. So a centralized identity management platform needs to follow users wherever they may go and wherever they may be.


By its very nature, a centralized identity management platform is the core identity store for an organization. That makes it a potential target for compromise. A modern day central identity management platform knows this and makes security a top priority. Not only should the platform be securely implemented and monitored, but the identities stored in the platform must also be safe. An organization’s security posture is further improved when their identity management platform works to detect compromises of identities elsewhere on the Internet, before they become internal problems.

Easy to Use and Implement

With SaaS-based services changing the landscape of software deployment and purchase, a core identity management platform needs to leverage these time-saving benefits. Platforms today cannot afford to be difficult to use and implement. A central identity management platform also needs to easily interact with the broader user population. Identity management solutions are implemented by IT admins, but it’s for their user groups. These users need access to a variety of IT resources and the more that they can control their own connections, the more efficiently the whole organization can operate.

Identity Management Solution  Directory-as-a-Service®

JumpCloud directory-as-a-service

The next generation of centralized identity management is Directory-as-a-Service®  Delivered as a SaaS-based solution, DaaS is a cloud-based directory service that connects users to the IT resources that those users need. Those IT resources could be located anywhere in the world and virtually on any platform.

DaaS is secure and locked-down, providing IT admins the next generation in secure identity management. Directory-as-a-Service is simple to implement for IT admins and a self-service portal puts tremendous power and efficiency in the hands of users.

Centralized identity management is critical for efficiency and security in the cloud era. Learn more about how Directory-as-a-Service can be your centralized identity management platform.

Rajat Bhargava

Rajat Bhargava is co-founder and CEO of JumpCloud, the first Directory-as-a-Service (DaaS). JumpCloud securely connects and manages employees, their devices and IT applications. An MIT graduate with two decades of experience in industries including cloud, security, networking and IT, Rajat is an eight-time entrepreneur with five exits including two IPOs, three trade sales and three companies still private.

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