Eliminating Microsoft from your IT Environment is Possible

Written by Natalie Bluhm on September 21, 2017

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The modern office isn’t 100% Microsoft anymore. Not even close. The modern office is a space where Mac and Linux systems abound and employees have millions of apps waiting within their internet browser. Furthermore, today’s IT departments are taking advantage of cloud infrastructure and freeing up space that used to be occupied by on-prem servers.

Whether you are heavily integrated with Microsoft or just have a few machines running Windows, you are probably well aware of the challenges that come with adapting your Microsoft environment to the modern office. These changes are here to stay. In fact, over the next year it is expected that IT budgets will be 80% committed to cloud solutions. With Microsoft’s difficulties in keeping up with modern times, it’s time to start thinking about how to eliminate Microsoft from your environment. Eliminating Microsoft isn’t just possible; it’s not as hard as you might think.

Our five-part Eliminating Microsoft series walks you through on how to eliminate pieces of Microsoft technology in your environment. You can start reading the series by following the links below:

The rest of this post will provide a brief summary for each part in the series, so that you can have a better understanding of which posts can assist you in eliminating Microsoft from your environment.


Intro to Eliminating Microsoft

The five core pieces of Microsoft technology that have been dominating IT environments are Microsoft Windows, Microsoft Office, Microsoft Exchange, Windows Server, and Active Directory. Getting rid of any one of these components can be difficult due to their integration. The components work together to give IT a manageable (if limited to one platform) environment. If you’re weighing your options, then this is a good post to start with. Read the introduction to the series to learn why IT organizations are getting rid of Microsoft technology, and how doing so is helping them advance their infrastructure to the cloud, utilize web-based applications, and allowing end users to use the systems they’re most productive on.

Eliminating Windows

Eliminating Microsoft Windows

Only 1 out of 5 users are using Microsoft Windows in the enterprise, while the remaining users are choosing to use Mac, Linux, iOS, or Android devices. Despite the rise in popularity of non-Windows devices, IT has still resisted eliminating Microsoft Windows from their environment and supporting these alternative platforms. Many of the system management solutions, like Active Directory or SCCM, have focused solely on Windows, so IT has struggled with properly managing non-Windows systems. Read Part 1 to find out how you can eliminate Windows systems and securely manage Mac and Linux endpoints with our cross-platform management solution.

Eliminating Microsoft Office

Eliminating Microsoft Windows

Microsoft was smart when they decided to package all of its productivity solutions into what is now known as Office 365®. If you didn’t want to go the Microsoft route, you would have had to buy a separate solution for each piece of productivity software that came with Microsoft Office. But then software started moving to the cloud, and Google introduced G Suite (formerly known as Google Apps). With more than 3 million businesses paying to use G Suite, it has become a viable replacement to Microsoft’s offering. The problem with G Suite though is that it lacks the ability to manage user access to legacy applications, on-prem and cloud servers, WiFi networks, and systems. Read Part 2 to find out more about how to eliminate Microsoft Office 365 and properly manage your G Suite users with Directory-as-a-Service.

Eliminating Exchange

Eliminating Microsoft Exchange

About two decades ago, Microsoft Exchange started showing up in the workplace as an enterprise email platform. With smooth integration with Microsoft Windows and Active Directory, Exchange was the email service of choice. Then Google introduced Gmail – a free hosted emailing service that also took away the hassle of managing email servers. It took some time for it to catch on, but eventually email became known as one of the first services to move to the cloud. However, organizations are still hesitant to leave Exchange behind because hosted email solutions have lacked the ability to be properly integrated with a centralized user management system. Read Part 3 to discover how our cloud based directory integrates with G Suite and Office 365 and allows IT to get rid of their on-prem email servers.

Eliminating Windows Server

Eliminating Microsoft Windows Server

In the past, IT had the option to spin up their own server using open-source solutions or implement a commercial product, like Windows Server. Windows Server became the go to choice due to the time and effort associated with open source solutions. Just like email and productivity software, the cloud changed the game when it came to Windows Server as well. Each of the functions that came bundled within a Windows Server developed into stand alone solutions delivered in the cloud. So, IT no longer has to be locked into their on-prem Windows Server. Read Part 4 to find out more about the rise of standalone cloud solutions, and how Directory-as-a-Service can unify all of the IT resources in your environment.   

Eliminating Active Directory

Eliminating Microsoft Active Directory

Active Directory is the most foundational component of a Microsoft ecosystem. AD came out of an era where Windows systems dominated the workplace and productivity software and infrastructure were on-prem. With Active Directory in this kind of setup, IT admins had excellent control over their environment. Then the IT world shifted with the introduction of the cloud, web-based apps, and Mac and Linux systems flooding the workplace. Microsoft didn’t want to lose their customer base to these new non-Microsoft resources so they made it difficult to integrate them with Active Directory. The good news is IT now has the option to replace Active Directory with a cloud based directory that can provide centralized user access to all of the resources they need. Read Part 5 to find out more about Active Directory’s rise in the directory service market, the difficulties it is facing in the modern IT world, and how Directory-as-a-Service can replace your Active Directory instance.     

Eliminating Microsoft with JumpCloud

jumpcoud Directory-as-a-Service

Eliminating Microsoft from your environment is possible. By implementing our virtual identity provider, you can replace Active Directory and achieve optimized, centralized control over Mac and Linux systems, G Suite users, and AWS or other cloud-based servers. If you would like to learn more about how to eliminate Microsoft from your environment, we hope to hear from you. We also encourage you to start testing our modern cloud identity and access management solution by signing up for a free account. Your first ten users are free forever.

Natalie Bluhm

Natalie is a writer for JumpCloud, an Identity and Access Management solution designed for the cloud era. Natalie graduated with a degree in professional and technical writing, and she loves learning about cloud infrastructure, identity security, and IT protocols.

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