By Jon Griffin Posted January 10, 2018
One important area of focus for Google is their identity management capabilities. This is evident with their recent acquisition of the identity management company Bitium (TechCrunch). However, it is common for IT organizations to become confused about what Google’s main goals are as an identity provider. So what interests are driving Google’s actions in the cloud IAM market? The answer to that question is critical in deciding whether to implement G Suite™ for IAM or a separate cloud IAM platform that features Google identity management.
What Google’s Identity Management Really Is
When you look closely at the moves Google has made in the IAM space, it becomes clear what their intentions are. Google’s plans for the cloud IAM space isn’t really about selling you management tools. Their management tools are simply a means to an end. They want IT organizations to leverage Google Cloud Platform and G Suite. Ultimately, if they felt that they could do that without providing management tools, it’s likely that they would.
Google Cloud Identity is designed to make it easy to leverage Google IT resources. Essentially, IT admins are enabled to have a simple method to manage who has access to Google cloud servers or G Suite. The main reason Google implements a makeshift identity management platform, presumably, is because they think that it will help them win over competitors like Microsoft Azure and Office 365. It also helps them be more competitive with AWS.
True Cloud IAM
With this understanding, it becomes clear why Google Cloud Identity is really focused on being the core identity for Google Apps, GCP, and a few select web sites. It’s essentially a user management platform for various Google services. The Google Identity Management platform is really just a G Suite directory, which is their version of the identity provider.
Google IDaaS can be an important tool for IT organizations leveraging a G Suite directory because it enables IT admins to create and manage G Suite accounts. However, if a company is looking for a complete cloud IAM platform – or a next generation cloud Active Directory® – Google Identity Management can only fill one piece of that puzzle.
For the organizations that are interested in implementing a full cloud IAM solution, there is a better option. The core of a cloud identity provider is the cloud IAM platform called Directory-as-a-Service®. This modern cloud IAM platform serves as the central identity provider, and is able to tightly integrate with Google Cloud Identity and G Suite Directory. With this integration, admins can connect G Suite user identities to all of the IT resources those users need beyond Google services. With JumpCloud, the core credentials that are housed within Directory-as-a-Service can be the same credentials as those used for Google Identity Management. This means that Directory-as-a-Service can federate those credentials to systems (Mac, Windows, Linux), servers (AWS, GCE), applications (through SAML, LDAP), storage systems (e.g., Samba file servers, NAS devices, etc.), and networks (via RADIUS). It is the directory built for the modern IT environment.
Learn More About Directory-as-a-Service
If your organization is considering the cloud IAM feature Google identity management, make sure that you understand the full extent of what it will cover. You will not end up with the complete cloud IAM solution that you might have thought. If you would like to learn more about the next generation cloud directory, then reach out to us. We would be happy to answer any questions that you might have about directories, and we can also set up a demo on the DaaS product. Alternatively, if you would like to test out the cloud-based directory for yourself so you can ensure that it works for you, feel free to sign up for an account. We offer 10 users free forever, with no credit card required, so it’s a risk free way of understanding the product. Check it out today!