By George Lattimore Posted October 8, 2018
If you were to take a guess on how many cloud services the average company uses in total, what would it be? 50? 500? Surely not something like 1,083, right? Well, according to McAfee’s 2018 report on shadow IT, not only is that number accurate for today’s average company, but what’s more, around 975 of these cloud services are being used outside of the knowledge of IT administrators. Regardless of how each of your client’s infrastructure is set up, what network they use, or what platform provider they employ, what’s clear is identity is the new battlefield for IT admins. For MSPs, in particular, with dozens of client organizations to watch over and manage simultaneously, choosing the right cloud identity management solution has never been more important.
Staying Ahead with the Cloud
Identity management encompasses much more than just security, of course. With capabilities related to user and system management, an identity management solution can either empower MSPs or hinder them. Between authorizing remote workers, responding promptly to HR requests, and regularly updating products, the MSP administrator has a lot to do, and consequently has got to manage operational efficiency and stay ahead of the curve. While identity management used to be done entirely on-prem through Windows®-based solutions and networks, the cloud has provided a new and much needed point of reference for productivity, growth, and ultimately, security.
With far more endpoints to manage and IT resources to connect than ever before, the user’s identity has stepped into the limelight as the central focal point for IT. Systems, applications, files, and networks are all being accessed through the user’s identity. As the MSP looking to reduce friction and increase growth for your clients’ operations, the cloud presents an opportunity that’s simply too good to pass up. According to McAfee’s Cloud Computing Trends 2017 report, “businesses taking advantage of productivity-enhancing cloud services grow 19.6% faster than their counterparts that don’t.”
Looking at this from another angle, what are the key factors driving growth in the cloud? Some of the key factors include reduced costs, improved developer/programmer productivity, consolidated data centers and increased business agility and innovation, according to Suse’s 2017 report on Cloud Adoption Trends Driving IT Transformation. So what does this mean for you? Offering effective and secure cloud identity management not only improves your efficiency as an MSP and streamlines your clients’ productivity, it also puts your business in position to benefit from increasing client demand. Future-proof and serverless, this could be a new age for managed services.
But, What About Compliance?
In the past, employing an on-prem identity provider or a directory service has helped IT organizations control user access and meet compliance regulations. But now that the battlefield has shifted from on-prem networks to identities living in the cloud, the directory service has shifted with it. As exemplified by GDPR, PCI, HIPAA, GLBA, and more, many organizations are now subject to some kind of regulation. Furthermore, compliance environments have been stretched to include web applications, remote workers, WiFi networks, etc., and legacy identity providers such as Microsoft® Active Directory® are struggling to adapt.
In order to meet the elongated requirements for compliance, a next generation identity management solution would ideally be platform-agnostic (Windows, Mac®, and Linux®) and protocol-driven, as well as easy to use. For the end user and the admin, meeting compliance shouldn’t be a chore layered on top of outdated security practices. It should be built into the platform itself, with group policies, an Events API, MFA, and customizable security settings.
Directory-as-a-Service® for MSPs
JumpCloud’s Directory-as-a-Service provides MSPs with a cloud identity management solution they can rely on and scale with. Beyond enhanced cloud security, serverless productivity, and accelerated client onboarding, Directory-as-a-Service supports GDPR, HIPAA, PCI compliance regulations (see links for reports).
Interested in hearing more about cloud identity management for MSPs? Consider viewing the video above or get started by filling out the JumpCloud Partner Application. A partner support expert will be happy to follow up with you. Program details, webinars, and contact information are also available as needed.