By Vince Lujan Posted December 21, 2017
IT organizations all over the world are moving their IT infrastructure to the cloud. For many of those organizations, the goal is to shift the majority of their on-prem Microsoft® infrastructure to Office 365®. Yet, Active Directory® (AD) – Microsoft’s directory service platform – is still firmly grounded on-prem, which is why many cloud-forward IT organizations ask us if it’s possible to integrate Office 365 with cloud identity and access management.
The short answer is that it is possible to integrate Office 365 with cloud identity and access management when you leverage JumpCloud Directory-as-a-Service®. The long answer is what will be discussed in this blog. Let’s begin with an outline of Microsoft’s traditional on-prem approach in order to reveal the benefits of a cloud IAM alternative.
Traditional Identity and Access Management
Historically, the IAM solution for IT organizations has been AD – Microsoft’s on-prem legacy directory service solution. AD was released around the turn of the century when the vast majority of IT infrastructure was still on-prem and Windows-based. As such, IT admins simply defaulted to an on-prem IAM platform from Microsoft to complement their existing infrastructure.
Of course, AD worked well in this type of environment in which everything was on-prem and Windows-based. However, as organizations make the leap to Office 365, IT admins tend to prefer a cloud based IAM infrastructure to match.
One option that is often discussed is moving from AD to Azure Active Directory®. The challenge with this approach is that Azure AD is not the cloud replacement to AD, but rather a complement to existing AD infrastructure on-prem. Consequently, IT organizations need to keep their AD server on-prem and connect it to Azure AD, which cannot serve as a standalone solution.
That doesn’t achieve the goal of moving on-prem IAM to the cloud. Further, AD and Azure AD limit the organization to Microsoft technology. Of course, that wouldn’t be a problem if IT wanted to “party like it’s 1999,” but IT admins know that’s not how the world works anymore.
Today, Windows-based devices are the minority in most IT organizations, and Mac and Linux are more popular than ever. Add to the fact that over 1 million businesses use AWS cloud servers, even more when you factor in GCP, and web applications for just about every IT resource and it’s easy to see that management for these non-Windows resources with AD can be a problem.
Ideally, IT admins would be able to leverage Office 365 credentials to authenticate user access to virtually any IT resource. The good news is this is possible with a third party cloud IAM solution called Directory-as-a-Service.
Integrate Office 365 with Cloud Identity and Access Management through DaaS
Directory-as-a-Service is a next generation IAM solution that seamlessly connects users to IT resources regardless of platform, provider, protocol, or location. It is effectively AD and LDAP reimagined for the cloud era.
Directory-as-a-Service seamlessly integrates with Office 365, which enables IT admins to control provisioned resources for users at Office 365 as well as a comprehensive array of IT resources. Yet, perhaps the most significant benefit of the Office 365 integration with cloud IAM is that the entire IT infrastructure shifts to the cloud.
The result is that IT admins no longer have to worry about on-prem, legacy solutions like Exchange and Active Directory. Instead, IT organizations simply connect the Directory-as-a-Service platform to Office 365 and instantly have control over onboarding and offboarding users to virtually any IT resource with Office 365 credentials.
Learn More about Office 365 and Cloud IAM
Directory-as-a-Service seamlessly integrates with Office 365, which enables IT admins to leverage Office 365 credentials to authenticate user access to virtually any IT resource. In doing so, IT organizations no longer need to invest significant time and resources to maintain the same infrastructure on-prem.
Contact the JumpCloud team to learn more about how integrating Office 365 with cloud identity and access management can benefit your organization. You can also watch the following whiteboard presentation to take a deep dive into the JumpCloud Office 365 integration functionality and architecture.
Sign up for a Directory-as-a-Service account and integrate Office 365 with cloud IAM today. Your first ten users are free forever to help you explore the full functionality of the JumpCloud platform at your leisure.