With Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) applications serving a critical role in organizations, IT administrators need to control how their users access those apps, from their first login to their final day on the job. As organizations scale or work remotely, some admins face the challenge of manually managing each user’s lifecycle across each app. By managing app lifecycles from one cloud identity solution, IT admins can automate their workflows without having to deal with a handful of tools.
What Full App Lifecycle Management Looks Like
Full application lifecycle management boils down to three core tasks: provisioning, single sign-on (SSO), and deprovisioning.
Provisioning users is the first step for every application lifecycle. Admins create the user in the application, assigning access rights/privileges. In practice, this is done either manually for each user in every needed application or through a provisioning tool tied into their core directory service.
Usually, these tools leverage the SAML protocol and Just-in-Time (JIT) provisioning or SCIM to push attributes from the core directory to applications. The app then takes the user’s attributes and creates their account.
Single sign-on takes up the majority of an application’s lifecycle. SSO generally leverages the SAML protocol to provide users with instant access to an application — securely federated by XML. In an ideal situation, the process is completely passwordless: Once a user logs into their workstation, they have access to all of their apps automatically. This workflow leverages device trust, an essential factor when securing remote users.
The terminal point in every app’s lifecycle is the deprovisioning process, which is most often handled manually or through SCIM (SAML JIT doesn’t support deprovisioning). When deprovisioning, admins remove a user’s access to the application, usually by suspending the user so any organizational data and intellectual property created or stored in the app is maintained. Once the data is secured, admins can fully delete the account.
Achieving Full App Lifecycle Management
When it comes to a solution for full app lifecycle management, many of the SSO providers on the market today support provisioning/deprovisioning capabilities. Although they run the gamut of app lifecycle management needs, they all present one key concern: They all generally require a core identity provider as their source of truth.
Even though they provide robust capabilities in their respective niche, having a multitude of best-of-breed identity management tools increases costs. This can be a difficult pill to swallow as more organizations cut IT budgets in response to the global recession. Additionally, the more solutions an organization employs, the more vendor relationships the IT admin has to deal with in order to master the tool, train end users, and receive support.
All-in-one platforms offer capabilities that span the offerings of their best-of-breed counterparts. Although they may not have the same depth of features, all-in-one platforms often consolidate costs as well, with less overhead after the fact since IT organizations only need a single tool to manage.
Using a Cloud Directory Service to Consolidate App Lifecycle Management
One such all-in-one platform is JumpCloud® Directory-as-a-Service®. Directory-as-a-Service is the first cloud directory service, and the only to offer True Single Sign-On™ with app lifecycle management in a single tool. JumpCloud’s offering uses SAML, JIT, and SCIM to provision, authenticate, and deprovision users’ app accounts, with SSO through the JumpCloud User Portal.
Beyond app lifecycle management, JumpCloud also provides identity access management for systems, networks, servers, and more, as well as device management including MDM. JumpCloud also offers two premium auditing tools, System Insights™ and Directory Insights™, which provide visibility and access logs for devices, apps, networks, etc. that are crucial for security and compliance.
Try JumpCloud Free
Directory-as-a-Service is and always will be free for your first 10 users and systems, with 10 days of premium in-app chat support. You’ll also get our premium services System and Directory Insights with your free account when you sign up.