Directory Services for MSPs

Written by George Lattimore on October 31, 2018

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More than ever, organizations are turning to MSPs (managed service providers) to offload their IT needs. As a result, “managed services continue to be one of the fastest growing segments of the entire technology industry,” according to Technology Services Industry Association (TSIA) State of Managed Services 2018. The challenge for MSPs? Finding the right IT management tools that can easily and profitably manage the disparities of the modern office. One of the core, fundamental areas of IT gaining momentous interest is cloud-based directory services for MSPs.

Moving Management to the Cloud

Cloud adoption for managed services

As the IT landscape shifts from on-prem, Windows-based IT resources to heterogeneous, cloud IT networks, MSPs are searching for ways to better manage their clients. The backbone of any IT infrastructure is the network itself along with the identity provider, which enables access to IT resources. For MSPs managing multiple client organizations, it’s hard to overstate the impact a secure and flexible identity provider, aka directory service, can have on their business and bottom line.

Historically, this core IT management tool, the directory service, has been provided by Microsoft® Active Directory®. Unfortunately, as an on-prem solution, MSPs had to purchase hardware, software, and then manage the identity management infrastructure at client sites—often requiring truck rolls to each client’s campus. Once the on-prem hardware was up and running, the time bomb was set, and it was only a matter of time before a server broke down and the MSP technician was headed back on the highway to put out a fire. It’s exactly this kind of operational friction that is driving MSPs towards new, cloud-forward ways of client management.

MSPs know by now that on-prem infrastructure generally means lower margins and less time efficiency. As more client services and resources shift to the cloud, MSPs have been unable to leverage a centralized directory services dashboard across all of their customers, creating even more operational inefficiency. So, why should MSPs continue to waste valuable time switching between the various tools and processes needed for each client’s infrastructure?

Flexibility Means Business

By 2020, 78% of small businesses are predicted to have adopted cloud computing. To meet the growing demand from clients, a new generation of cloud directory services has emerged. The nature of this solution is directly tuned to MSPs by focusing on securely managing and controlling user access to all of the IT resources their clients require. It should come as no surprise that in terms of SaaS solutions, 69% of businesses want a variety of cloud services to choose from. MSP’s clients directly benefit from the the ability to utilize a la carte services—the directory service included.  

What’s more, MSPs can drive operations from a single console and remotely manage all of their individual clients. Imagine that—no truck rolls. No servers to manage. No inefficient directory services software to manage and maintain. Cloud-forward MSPs are seeing immediate gains with operational efficiency. They’re doing more with less, and managing more clients in the process. Remote users, global offices, disparate systems—MSPs can now centrally manage all of their clients from one pane of glass.

True Value of Directory Services for MSPs

No longer will MSPs have to force certain vendor solutions on their customers because the alternatives wouldn’t integrate well with their client’s core identity management infrastructure. Instead, MSPs can open up their playbook to whatever solutions fit their clients’ needs. Ultimately, that’s the true value of cloud-based directory services for MSPs.

From managing systems, applications, files, and networks, finding the right directory services for MSPs is crucial for managing clients’ modern office. If the solution is protocol-driven and platform-agnostic, like JumpCloud® Directory-as-a-Service®, connecting users to the resources they need is easy. JumpCloud provides the flexibility MSPs need to modernize their product stack regardless of provider (G Suite, Office 365, AWS®, Dropbox), platform (Windows®, Mac®, Linux®), protocol (SAML, LDAP, RADIUS), or location (cloud-based, on-prem, or even remote).

JumpCloud partners program for MSPs

Interested in hearing more? Check out our Partner Program, and apply to be a JumpCloud Partner today. One of our product experts will follow up with more details on JumpCloud’s directory services for MSPs.

George Lattimore

George is a writer at JumpCloud, a central source for authenticating, authorizing, and managing your IT infrastructure through the cloud. With a degree in Marketing and an MS in Public Communications and Technology, George enjoys writing about how the IT landscape is adapting to a diversified field of technology.

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