Identity and Access Management for MSPs

Written by Ryan Squires on December 28, 2018

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Identity and access management (IAM) is a core issue for MSPs managing their clients’ organizations. As the outsourced IT management function for an organization, MSPs are generally on the hook to run the entire network for each of their clients. Besides security, there’s not much that’s more important than connecting users to the IT resources they need—especially not in the user’s mind. As more and more SMBs look for help moving their infrastructure to the cloud for increased productivity and freedom with web apps, the topic of identity and access management for MSPs continues to pick up steam.

Peeling Back the Layers of Break-Fix

MSPs typically have a wide range of services they provide to their customers, but managing the network is often done from the core of their product stack. Since IAM capabilities are at the center of IT management, the challenge in the past for MSPs was that they were often required to manage each of their client organization’s separately, one at a time, with on-prem equipment. This required a great deal of time and effort as MSPs had to make the commute to each client’s campus in order to conduct break-fix maintenance, repairs, and updates.

Take it from fellow MSP founder, Brett Ramberg, CEO at Altitude Integrations, who described the difficulty of break-fix maintenance in a recent interview:

In the past, even the process for changing passwords required a concerted effort from one of our technical administrators. Our techs had to go in, on-prem, and know each of those client panels and how to reset that specific password, and we had to spend time training them on all of these different processes.”

Brett Ramberg, CEO at Altitude Integrations

Furthermore, it’s no secret that Windows® Servers employing Microsoft® Active Directory® (AD) have dominated IAM for two decades, and service technicians at MSPs needed to be individually trained on how to maintain them. These servers weren’t built for cross-platform integration, much less cloud integration, and their limited functionality in the modern IT environment can cause hangups and inefficiencies for MSPs and their client organizations alike. Having to stack web-app SSO providers and identity bridges on top of legacy, on-prem hardware IT isn’t ideal. While this approach is still technically possible to manage, and some MSPs continue to operate their business using the break-fix model, the lack of feasibility and effectiveness only grows as more band aid solutions are stacked on top of the fundamental problem: the directory itself.

Enabling Cloud-based Remote Management

In the cloud era, MSPs are busy searching for central management control over client networks to avoid the break-fix inefficiencies of yesteryear. Ideally, this cloud identity and access management solution for MSPs would eliminate the need for on-prem Microsoft Active Directory and enable remote management for all clients from one pane of glass. With 71% of SMBs in the United States indicating they will increase their investment in cloud-technologies in 2019, this solution should also be protocol-driven in order to provide the freedom of choice and flexibility end users require in the modern office.

Thankfully, it’s not 1999 anymore, and the options on the table for MSPs are changing for the better. Identity and access management solutions are now being tailored directly to the needs of MSPs specifically, opening the door for immediate efficiency gains without compromising cloud security. JumpCloud® Directory-as-a-Service® is helping lead the charge in this space by offering MSPs a cloud directory with features such as the Multi-Tenant Portal and a dedicated Partner Program to boot.

Learn More About Identity and Access Management for MSPs

Interested in hearing more about identity and access management for MSPs with JumpCloud? Check out this technical case study with Boulder-based MSP, Altitude Integrations, and drop our Partner Support team a note at

JumpCloud’s Partner Program empowers MSPs with central identity management from the cloud. Fine-tuned for MSPs with cloud security offerings and/or clients moving to the cloud, Directory-as-a-Service can be easily bundled at the center of any product stack to make customers more secure, efficient, and scalable. Make Work Happen™ for your clients while improving the bottom line for your business.

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