Idaptive vs Centrify

Written by Ryan Squires on March 16, 2019

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Idaptive vs Centrify®. It’s not a common occurrence, generally, to compare identity management products from the same company. But, given Thoma Bravo’s (owner of Centrify and Idaptive) recent decision to spin off SSO to a completely new service—Idaptive—it makes sense to take a look at the two solutions. Additionally, we will seek to answer what these changes mean to customers, potential customers, and the industry at large.

Why Split Idaptive from Centrify?

From the outside, it appears that Centrify decided to separate their lines of business into two companies—Centrify and Idaptive. Centrify has been a long-time player in the identity and access management (IAM) space, so it was surprising to see their business get split in two. Today, the Centrify business is focused on privileged identity management while Idaptive will forge ahead as a web application single sign-on (SSO) company. On the surface, it seems as if this new model would only serve to confuse its current and prospective customers. With that in mind, it’s important to get some backstory in order to better understand what’s really going on here.

Active Directory at the Center

Centrify started as a directory extension solution that connected Active Directory (AD) to Mac® and Linux®/Unix systems. Over time, the company expanded into a number of different areas including privileged identity management, web application single sign-on, multi-factor authentication (MFA), and much more. Essentially, Centrify was trying to serve as the one-stop shop for Active Directory add-ons, and honestly, there was no shortage of needs to bring AD up to speed with the rapidly changing IT market.

Outside Challenges and Reasons for a Split

While this strategy was seemingly successful for a number of years, soon challenges would appear. Focused competitors like Okta® dominated the enterprise web application SSO space. While Okta was able to focus on one aspect of IAM, Centrify was working in multiple areas, which may have served to dilute their focus. Centrify was fighting another battle as well, which was that their software was enterprise-class and on-prem. So, as more nimble SaaS competitors appeared, Centrify was challenged to be able to manage all of their product lines.

From that perspective, we start to understand why the split—Idaptive vs Centrify—started to make sense. Idaptive would take on the Oktas of the world in the web application single sign-on space while Centrify would focus on its new interests: Zero Trust Security and privileged identity management. This split of responsibilities, if you will, in the identity management world could allow each organization to focus deeply on each growing market. So, while it did not make a lot of sense to begin with, their intent it seems is now clear.

AD Reimagined for the Cloud Era

One common thread exists between both companies, Centrify and Idaptive are each focused on extending Active Directory functionality to other areas. While these companies are focusing their energy on extending AD, a new generation of cloud identity management is emerging that is completely changing the underlying market by reimagining Active Directory for the cloud era. Called JumpCloud® Directory-as-a-Service®, this solution integrates the most widely used and powerful protocols like LDAP, RADIUS, SAML, REST, SSH, and others, so there is no need to add anything onto the solution. You can just provision user access to the IT resources your users require—systems, files, applications, and networks—from a single administrative pane of glass. JumpCloud is a comprehensive IAM solution, which means you won’t need to pore over the abilities of two separate products from two separate companies.

Learn More About JumpCloud

When it comes to Idaptive vs Centrify, you can roll your entire IAM strategy into one neat package with JumpCloud Directory-as-a-Service. To see it for yourself, sign up for a JumpCloud account today. It enables you to manage up to 10 users for free—no credit card required. For more information, visit our Knowledge Base, swing by our YouTube channel or drop us a line to see how JumpCloud can simplify your directory services solution today.

Ryan Squires

Ryan Squires is a content writer at JumpCloud, a company dedicated to connecting users to the IT resources they need securely and efficiently. He has a degree in Journalism and Media Communication from Colorado State University.

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