Why G Suite Shouldn’t Be Your Source of Truth

Written by Brandon White on October 5, 2020

Share This Article

Millions of organizations worldwide use Google’s G Suite™. It’s an incredible productivity suite and even more invaluable during this period of mostly remote work that requires virtual collaboration.

If you don’t know already, G Suite is a suite of cloud tools, software and products developed by Google to help organizations perform their daily functions.

Many smaller organizations end up using G Suite as their user database. Why? It’s low cost, most users are familiar with it, and it integrates users’ mail, calendars, and document creation and storage.

Yet, there are a number of good reasons why G Suite shouldn’t be your source of truth for your identities.

3 Areas G Suite Falls Short

Let’s start by analyzing some common pain points organizations that use G Suite to manage identities will inevitably endure.

1. Cross-Tool Security

While Google does an incredible job with security and continues to devote time to the space, the challenge is that G Suite identities can’t easily extend securely beyond Google domain.

The result is that IT administrators and managed service providers (MSPs) spend time creating user databases in a number of locations with a number of different solutions. This increases surface area for attack and compromise.

So, while G Suite security is sufficient if you’re only using Google tools, your organization will invariably require identity management across other IT resources that Google doesn’t manage.

2. Productivity and Ease of Use

End users want one identity for access to all of their IT resources. Because G Suite identities can’t extend to all resources, users end up having multiple identities and credentials. That means less productivity while users have to toggle between where their identities are stored (or even require resets because logins are lost) as well as increased security risks.

From an IT administrator’s perspective, provisioning and deprovisioning users in a large number of locations creates added work, not to mention risk. A missed step in an off-boarding check-list can mean a former employee could still have access to sensitive materials. Plus, when there is not a single source for all identities, IT admins are forced to do the manual work of rounding up all identities to disable, which leaves room for error.

3. Vendor Lock-In

There’s a reason Google decided to get in the identity management space — they want to make sure you keep using Google products, everywhere, always.

Google’s intent with providing identity management services is to provide a single user account that can serve all Google services. By also extending that identity to select web applications, Google hopes to make it enticing for IT organizations to centralize around a Google login.

Once centralized around a Google identity, it is easier for Google to sell you more of their services. There is little friction in adopting those additional services. Google wins with more of your money.

So what’s the bad part? Your organization is less able to use services that aren’t supported by Google. Your directory services shouldn’t make you choose between Google or Microsoft® or AWS tools.

G Suite versus a Comprehensive Cloud Directory

Small organizations are often top candidates for trying to centralize their identities around G Suite identities, but there is a cost, even for non-enterprise orgs. The ease in implementation, if you will, is more than offset by security, productivity, and freedom-of-choice issues.

An independent identity provider shouldn’t cost you much money, but it can become the core, authoritative source of identities for your organization. You can then extend those identities to the IT resources that you feel are right for you from one location, without the risk of additional user databases with sensitive credentials stored within them.

And that’s exactly what JumpCloud® is purpose-built to do. Here are some of the benefits of choosing JumpCloud over the more narrow offering of G Suite:

  1. Make Work Happen®: Connect your organization’s users to technology they need with JumpCloud’s user and access management so everyone can get their work done faster and easier. 
  2. Freedom of Choice: JumpCloud is multi-protocol, platform agnostic, and location independent. That puts you and your team in control, not a vendor that’s trying to upsell you.
  3. Control & Visibility: JumpCloud puts the power in the IT team’s hands to manage access to IT resources and to configure and monitor systems. Deep monitoring and insights help you ensure that the right people are doing the right things within the environment.
  4. Security: Protect your organization by locking down identities. The right identities are the keys to the digital kingdom, and ensuring that those stay safe is a core part of JumpCloud’s mission. 

Try it for Yourself — for Free

It probably doesn’t surprise you that we think JumpCloud is a better cloud directory solution than G Suite. But if we haven’t convinced you yet that we’re right, we’ll go one step further.
You can sign up for JumpCloud Free to test out how we stack up against G Suite — that’s how confident we are that our features will outshine any other cloud directory alternative. Give it a try, and add up to 10 users and 10 systems without even adding a credit card. Or, if you want to talk more about the differences between G Suite and JumpCloud, just drop us a note.

Brandon White

Brandon is an enthusiast, solutionist, and JumpCloud’s Technical Evangelist, active in journalism and IT in cities across the US for over 25 years. Pick his brain on Slack in the JumpCloud Lounge: http://ow.ly/seTs30qO7WX

Continue Learning with our Newsletter