Many believe that Google Cloud™ Identity is free. And it is to some extent, but if you’re interested in the broader features it has to offer, it’s far from free. In fact, it can be quite expensive over time.
What is Google Cloud Identity?
Google Cloud Identity is the user management platform you receive when you sign up for G Suite™ or Google Cloud Platform services. It’s the substrate layer for Google’s cloud products. Because identities are so critical and touch virtually all of Google’s services, they built a unified identity management service to work across their applications. That includes Gmail™, Docs, Sheets, Drive, and so on — as long as it exists under the Google domain.
Google Cloud Identity offers a free and a premium version. The premium version has more identity management capabilities over Google applications, but requires a subscription fee per user per month.
Is Google Cloud Identity Worth the Price?
For many organizations leveraging G Suite, the idea is to use Google Cloud Identity Platform to federate user access to a wide range of other IT resources. They may even attempt to use Google identity as the core identity provider (IdP) for their organization.
Depending on your requirements, it can be used this way. If you’re a Google shop using only web applications, then you could sign up for the premium version of Google Cloud Identity and effectively use it as your core IdP.
However, few organizations operate in such an environment, let alone thrive. If your organization cares about managing access to Mac®, Linux®, and Windows® systems, WiFi and VPNs, AWS® cloud servers, on-prem applications and other resources, it’s unlikely that Google Cloud Identity Premium alone will work. As with many other tech titans, an identity in Google is intended to work seamlessly with Google resources alone. Applications and services from other providers will need you to find separate tools to manage identities within them.
Google Cloud Identity Pricing
With that said, if you’re interested in purchasing Google Cloud Identity Premium, the long-term pricing is $6 per user per month. There’s a first year headline price of $4, but longer than that, it’s $6 per user per month.
IT admins will need to analyze what they get for that price — and whether it’s sufficient for their needs — on their own. It may work for many, but for others, a cloud directory solution may be more advantageous. It all depends on how much value Google Cloud Identity has to offer your organization and what your budget allows for. If Google Cloud Identity won’t work for you, there is an alternative to consider.
Google Cloud Identity Alternative
If Google Cloud Identity isn’t a good fit for your organization, consider JumpCloud® Directory-as-a-Service®. It offers a wider scope of IAM capabilities and works on all three major operating systems. The first ten users are free for life. Check out the pricing page to learn more, or setup a free demo to see it in action.