One of the most critical challenges with IT networks today is identity management. These kinds of solutions are the backbone of any IT infrastructure. By securely connecting users to IT resources, identity management solutions ensure that IT admins maintain control while users get their work done. For the most part, identity and access management (IAM) has been tailored to meet the demands of large enterprises. But, as small-to-medium sized enterprises (SMEs) are the primary targets of cyber criminals, SMEs everywhere are wondering: is there a free identity provider that can help SMEs get started?
Why SMEs Need IAM Now
First of all, it’s a great question that’s only growing in relevance as the implications of a lack of centralized IAM can have a significant and immediate impact. The best IT admins and MSPs are constantly looking forward at what technology is on the way to ensure that they are building their infrastructure with the right foundation in place. One of the first steps in that foundation is securing identities and ensuring that only the right people have access to the proper resources.
Traditionally, this task has fallen on the back of Microsoft’s® legacy identity provider, Active Directory Domain Services®. AD Domain Services was responsible for enabling users to log in to their Windows machine and then gain access to their Windows®-based systems and applications. This worked well when the IT environment was largely on-prem and Windows-based, racking up billions in revenue as organizations everywhere purchased and maintained on-prem servers. But, as macOS® and Linux® machines, web applications, cloud infrastructure from AWS®, Samba file servers and NAS appliances, and other non-Windows IT resources have emerged, the legacy approach to identity management has struggled to keep up.
Microsoft’s hold on the IT industry was incredibly strong of course, and in order to continue evolving and using modern tools from the cloud, new technology was needed to help bridge the gap. The result was that IT organizations started to purchase add-on solutions such as directory extensions, privileged identity management, 2FA, web application single sign-on, and more. Paying for all of these additional solutions on top of the costs for running Active Directory started to make it more and more prohibitive for SMEs to successfully leverage IAM technology. After all, budget constraints and limited cash flow are well-known growth limitations for SMEs that must be monitored closely. Further, newer IT organizations were born in the cloud era. Thus, they often have a cloud forward mindset. Unfortunately, the cloud and traditional IAM solutions like AD DS seem to be at odds.
A Free Identity Management Solution to Build On
The good news is that a free identity management platform called Directory-as-a-Service® has been designed to help SMEs get started with the right identity management approach. This cloud directory encompasses the key ingredients that IT organizations need to grow from—all for free for the first 10 users. After that, the organization is charged monthly for the additional users, as is common with many Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) platforms. This fee is substantially less than it would cost to purchase and maintain an on-prem server however, and SMEs in particular can achieve massive gains in efficiency and productivity while saving money.
Interested in hearing more about JumpCloud®’s free identity management solution? We’ve got product experts ready to answer any questions you have—just send us a note. If you’d like to see more about the benefits to SMEs specifically, check out this whitepaper to gain an in-depth understanding.