Identity Management Providers

Written by Jon Griffin on April 20, 2018

Share This Article

The identity management market has been around for a while. As a result, it comes as no surprise that there is a lot of competition in the market. There is an abundance of identity management providers (IdP), and many of them offer tremendous value to IT organizations. But, we shouldn’t just be examining the providers and the solutions. The growth of the cloud is revolutionizing the needs of an identity, and it brings up an important factor. We need to ask, “How is the IAM Market changing with the cloud?” This will shine a light on how identity management providers will fare in the near future, and set up consumers to make a better decision on a solution.

The first step in answering this question is to look at the journey of the identity management market.

Examining the Origins of Identity Management Providers

Origins of Identity Management Providers

The modern era of identity management kicked off with the advent of the authentication protocol LDAP (Lightweight Directory Access Protocol). This protocol was created back in the early 1990s by Tim Howes and his colleagues from the University of Michigan, and it has had a role in IT ever since. LDAP was the catalyst for two major components of the identity management market: OpenLDAP and Microsoft Active Directory®.

These two solutions grew to become some of the most recognized names in the identity management world. Active Directory quickly became the commercial leader, and OpenLDAP became the most popular open source option. These solutions offered excellent management capabilities over the on-prem environments of the late 90s and early 2000s, but as the environments began to evolve, the capabilities of these on-prem directories began to wane. For example, web applications started to become more popular in the enterprise which then necessitated web application single sign-on products. Mac® and Linux® systems also started to infiltrate the IT environment, requiring organizations to setup identity bridges. AWS cloud server infrastructure challenged Active Directory as well, and this required a more thoughtful approach to user management for IaaS providers. If all of that wasn’t enough, security requirements and risk of compromise both increased, leading to multi-factor authentication becoming a popular part of identity management. And these changes are just the tip of the iceberg.

But, everyone in IT knows that the field has been going through drastic changes over the past two decades. What’s surprising, is that the same identity provider has persisted throughout these two decades. OpenLDAP and Active Directory were built for on-prem, platform specific environments, yet they are now trying to manage the complete opposite. As the IAM market delves deeper into the world of the cloud, on-prem identity management providers are clearly not the way to go.

Identity Management Providers for the Cloud IAM World

Identity Management Providers for the modern IT world

Identity management providers all have one common goal – to help IT organizations manage, secure, and connect users to their IT resources. However, for the IT organizations that already have on-prem IdPs like Active Directory or OpenLDAP, frustrations arise around the fact that they can’t scale and grow with their IT environment. They frequently require additional instances and help from 3rd party vendors to build a comprehensive solution.

With the massive shift to the cloud going on right now, a new generation of cloud identity management platform is needed. Fortunately, the cloud-based directory JumpCloud Directory-as-a-Service® is emerging, and it is collapsing the IAM landscape into a single solution. IT admins have been searching for a core identity provider that securely manages and connects users to the IT resources they need. They want an all encompassing solution that includes systems, applications, files, and networks regardless of the provider, protocol, platform, or location. That’s exactly what JumpCloud Directory-as-a-Service offers.

JumpCloud manages users and their systems – whether Mac, Linux, or Windows, – and provides access to cloud and on-prem resources such as Office 365, G Suite, Salesforce®, AWS® and more. Plus, the same login used for those resources can be used to connect users to their networks via RADIUS, and their file shares like Samba or NAS. This improves the workflow for end users, and the security for admins.

Try Cloud Identity Management

directory as a service

Sound interesting? Then try the cloud-based directory out for yourself! JumpCloud Directory-as-a-Service offers free full fledged accounts with 10 users to everyone, providing a perfect opportunity to test and see how the directory works for you. Then, you can see how much easier a centralized cloud directory can be compared to the legacy identity management providers that have stuck around. If you would rather see a live demo, that is an option as well. We run weekly webinars that detail the various areas of the platform and allow live interaction with the presenters.

Reach out to the JumpCloud team with any questions that you might have, as we are always happy to answer them.

Continue Learning with our Newsletter