By George Lattimore Posted October 5, 2018
Identity-as-a-Service, or IDaaS, has historically just been a fancy name for web application single sign-on (or SSO). However, MSPs need the concept of Identity-as-a-Service to mean a great deal more than just web app SSO if they hope to manage the complexity of modern networks. When you consider that web applications only represent one facet of an organization’s overall IT infrastructure, you can begin to understand how the traditional notion of IDaaS can be limiting. Add in multiple instantiations of modern user identities, macOS® systems and Linux® servers, on-prem and virtual file storage, networks spanning multiple locations, and more, and it becomes clear that the concept of IDaaS for MSPs needs to be focused around providing central control over the entire IT infrastructure of their clients.
Breaking Away from Break-Fix
MSPs are steadily becoming the outsourced IT arm for their clients. And, a core part of the IT function is to securely manage access to IT resources. Traditionally, this has been done with the help of legacy, on-prem Microsoft® Active Directory® (MAD). However, as the IT landscape continues to shift away from on-prem services in favor of of cloud-based services such as web applications, cloud infrastructure, and virtual file storage alternatives, MAD has become an obvious point of contention. With respect to web applications, first generation IDaaS solutions emerged in an attempt to mitigate some of this contention. They were designed to be layered on top of Active Directory, and federate MAD Identities to web apps ‘as-a-Service’. As a result, IT professionals could manage user access to a wide variety of cloud-based applications using MAD credentials.
The problem for innovative MSPs is that they are looking to shift as much of their client’s infrastructure to the cloud as possible to help reduce break-fix maintenance, truck rolls, and manual management over on-prem infrastructure. So, eliminating anchors to on-prem identity management platforms like MAD is starting to make a lot of sense. This migration to the cloud not only makes sense for MSPs trying to capitalize on their operational efficiency, but also for their client organizations as well. More and more, MSPs are seeing clients’ attitude towards the cloud grow from hesitance to curiosity to demand. While 75% of MSPs are said to still offer break-fix services of some kind, the tides are continuing to turn with 86% now found to offer cloud services. By repositioning their business model as managed services and moving away from break-fix maintenance, cloud-forward MSPs are laying the groundwork for their business to grow with the changing IT landscape. Unfortunately, until recently, the IDaaS options available to MSPs that could deliver a comprehensive cloud identity management approach were really slim to none.
Next Generation IDaaS for MSPs
Fortunately, for MSPs still on the search for the right IDaaS solution to integrate into their product stack and maximize operational efficiency, a new solution called JumpCloud® Directory-as-a-Service® could be the missing piece. JumpCloud Directory-as-a-Service is a next generation IDaaS platform that was specifically designed to manage the breadth of modern IT networks without anything on-prem and without the help of third-party add-ons. Instead, JumpCloud delivers a holistic cloud identity management approach via One Identity to Rule them All®. By leveraging user identities from the cloud, this cloud-based directory service platform empowers MSPs to centrally connect their clients to systems, applications, files, and networks. Regardless of the protocol, provider, platform, or location of client organizations, MSPs can manage them all from one pane of glass using the Multi-Tenant Portal.
Interested in hearing more about IDaaS for MSPs? Check out the JumpCloud Partner Program, or watch the brief introduction video above to see how JumpCloud can make your life easier as an MSP. With cross-platform, protocol-driven, serverless support, JumpCloud eliminates the need for on-prem management. If you want to see the platform in action, go ahead and apply to be a Partner and a representative of the Partner Support team will follow up with details.