Controlling Access Across Heterogeneous Environments

Written by Zach DeMeyer on May 13, 2020

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Modern IT innovations enable organizations to pick and choose the resources that will best serve their needs and budgets, creating a heterogeneous blend of platforms and vendors. To ensure their end users remain secure, IT departments need to leverage identity and access management (IAM) solutions to control access to these resources. 

Using traditional IAM tools like Active Directory®, however, some IT teams may not be fully equipped to deal with resources that fall outside of the domain. With a cloud-based alternative, IT organizations can achieve a domainless enterprise, securing their users and resources even if they’re outside of the office.

Traditional IAM in Heterogeneous Environments

It’s apparent that modern IT resources provide organizations immense benefits by way of increased productivity and improved employee experience. What was once a Windows®-dominated IT landscape is now showing widespread adoption of Mac® and Linux® devices. After all, Macs are renowned for usability and fostering creativity, and Linux touts some of the best computing capabilities of any system/OS type.

In addition to systems, there has also been a transformation in the application space resulting from the Everything-as-a-Service (XaaS) boom. Now, web apps hold critical roles in organizations, providing key business capabilities along with the extensibility that cloud-based software provides. Cloud infrastructure offers similar benefits in regard to computing and storage needs.

Unfortunately, traditional identity management tools are ill equipped to natively control access to these resources. Many IAM options are domain-based, meaning they are almost entirely focused on managing on-premises resources. This is best exemplified by Microsoft® Active Directory, which is optimized to manage on-prem, Windows® systems and apps.

Organizations that leverage these traditional IAM tools require the aid of additional solutions like web app single sign-on (SSO) and others, adding more spend to their budgets. In a time when many IT budgets are running thin, IT admins need to find ways to save money and consolidate their solutions while still achieving the same ends.

Leveraging the Cloud for Access Control

A cloud directory service is designed to centralize IAM needs for heterogeneous environments into a single platform. Here are a few examples of why:

  • Third-party: A cloud directory service is not affiliated with any specific resources; it’s inclusive of all, providing first-class coverage to any tool an organization leverages.
  • Centralized: One identity means that admins consolidate costs and vendor relationships while also ensuring that their end users have secure, reliable access to everything they need.
  • Cloud-based: A cloud-hosted identity provider is capable of fully supporting remote workforce, including the IT department, with full user lifecycle provisioning to support on/offboarding.

If you’d like to learn more about how to control your heterogeneous IT environment with a cloud directory, or Directory-as-a-Service® (DaaS), check out our product page to see everything DaaS can provide to your organization. 

You can also kick the tires yourself absolutely free for up to 10 users to see if DaaS can fill your needs.

Zach DeMeyer

Zach is a Product Marketing Specialist at JumpCloud with a degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Colorado School of Mines. He loves being on the cutting edge of new technology, and when he's not working, he enjoys all things outdoors, music, and soccer.

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