Identity Management Competitors

Written by Natalie Bluhm on April 17, 2018

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The identity management space is core to IT. Identity and access management solutions control who has access to what in an organization. Because of the fundamental nature of IAM, there are a number of identity management competitors in the space. So, what do you need to know when it comes to choosing an identity provider to manage your IT resources?

Well, let’s take a look at how identity management has evolved over the years. Doing so will reveal that identity management solutions have struggled to meet the needs of a cloud-forward, modern environment.

IAM Started Off with LDAP

identity management

The modern era of identity management really started with the advent of the LDAP protocol.  This protocol was created by Tim Howes and his colleagues at the University of Michigan in the early 1990s, and it went on to become one of the core authentication methods for IT resources. Shortly after LDAP’s creation, it spawned two major innovations: Microsoft® Active Directory® and OpenLDAP.

Both of these solutions were considered directory services, as they offered a database of users and what those users could access. IT resources would check with the directory service when someone tried to login. The directory service, or identity provider as it is often called, would check to see if the user had access or not and return that to the IT resource. For many years, OpenLDAP would be the core directory service for organizations that leveraged mainly Linux infrastructure. AD was the go-to choice for predominantly Windows environments, and as most know, Active Directory became the market share leader in the IAM space.

Then, when the IT landscape started to shift to web applications, cloud infrastructure, WiFi, Mac and Linux machines, and more, IT admins struggled to control access to those resources. This was because Active Directory simply wasn’t built to integrate with cloud-based non-Microsoft resources.  

How Changes Impacted IAM

identity management competitors

The result was that the identity management space splintered into a number of different categories including directory services, web application single sign-on, privileged identity management, identity bridges, and governance solutions, among others. Essentially, the list of identity management competitors exploded.

For IT admins, this broad list of vendors in the identity management space was hard to deal with because they each solved only one part of the problem, and they all needed to be integrated together. Interestingly, the integration points would all come back to the core identity provider because it was the authoritative source of truth for identities.

Instead of implementing multiple identity management solutions, modern organizations are now turning to a cloud identity management platform called JumpCloud® Directory-as-a-Service®.

Complete IT Resource Management with JumpCloud


This core, cloud directory is integrating authentication, authorization, and system management. Now, virtually any IT resource, regardless of platform, protocol, provider, or location, can authenticate against this modern cloud directory service. This means IT admins can securely control authentication to systems (Mac, Linux, and Windows), local and cloud servers (AWS and GCP) applications (SAML and LDAP-based), file storage (virtual and physical), and networks (wired and WiFi).

With JumpCloud Directory-as-a-Service, IT organizations can enjoy optimized and centralized identity management across their entire environment, while users benefit by gaining One Identity to Rule Them All® .

There’s More To Explore about Identity Management Competitors

If you are interested in expanding your knowledge some more about identity management competitors, consider watching the JumpCloud Story whiteboard video above. You are also more than welcome to drop us a note. If you’re ready to start testing our cloud identity management platform, sign up for a free account. Your first ten users are free forever, and the whole platform is available, so you can really see how JumpCloud works in your environment.

Natalie Bluhm

Natalie is a writer for JumpCloud, an Identity and Access Management solution designed for the cloud era. Natalie graduated with a degree in professional and technical writing, and she loves learning about cloud infrastructure, identity security, and IT protocols.

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