By Zach DeMeyer Posted August 10, 2018
Is a hosted identity cloud useful to IT organizations? Well, it mostly depends on what your organization needs. Many IT organizations are shifting from on-prem identity management infrastructure to cloud alternatives. Due to this, a hosted identity cloud—or SaaS identity management solution—can be very helpful.
The Identity Cloud Forms
To understand why an identity cloud can be helpful, we need to step back and understand the history of identity and access management (IAM). The modern era of identity management kicked off with the advent of the LDAP authentication protocol by our friend and advisor, Tim Howes, and his colleagues at the University of Michigan. By leveraging LDAP, IT admins could easily maintain and authorize their user base for their required resources from the amalgam of those that were available in the world of IT. Such resources included laptops/desktops, servers, applications, and file servers.
This subsequently led to the creation of Microsoft® Active Directory® (MAD or AD) and the open source directory services platform, OpenLDAP™. While both were popular at the time, MAD would go on to become the on-prem IAM solution of choice. This was due to its tight integration with on-prem Windows® platforms, such as Exchange®, Office, and File Server®, which were among the industry standards at that point in time.
As we all know, however, the IT landscape started to change. Solutions such as web applications, cloud infrastructure, Mac® and Linux® systems, and WiFi, cropped up among the many new innovations that hit the market. The result was that traditional, legacy on-prem solutions, such as Active Directory, began to break down. To bolster their existing solutions, IT admins started to seek out add-on solutions, such as identity bridges, web application SSO platforms, privileged identity management solutions, and more. An organization’s identity management approach started to become more complex and costly.
The Winds of Change
IT innovation didn’t stop, of course, and the result was a new generation of cloud identity management solutions. These solutions were based on the concept of an identity cloud—a microservice in the cloud that delivered authentication services. This authentication-as-a-service approach would enable IT organizations and end users to use one identity to securely connect to their systems, applications, files, and networks regardless of location, protocol, provider, and platform. One solution, in particular, offers centralized user management akin to Active Directory, but offers cloud-based functionality for heterogeneous environments.
This solution is called JumpCloud® Directory-as-a-Service®, and it’s creating the next generation identity in the cloud platform. JumpCloud is striving to provide keen user identity management and security by offering multi-factor authentication (MFA) and True Single Sign-On™ for easy-to-use, hyper-secure user authorization. With a variety of other directory and user management features, JumpCloud is completely cloud-based and platform agnostic, making it easy to graft into almost any IT organization.
Hosted Identity Cloud with Directory-as-a-Service
If Directory-as-a-Service seems like the hosted identity cloud solution for your enterprise, try it for free for up to ten users. You can also schedule a demo to see Directory-as-a-Service in the hands of an expert. If you have any questions, feel free to contact our support team to learn more.