Modern Directory That Companies Need Now

Written by Greg Keller on December 1, 2014

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Companies that leverage the cloud desperately need a modern directory services solution to centralize user management. It’s because they often have Macs, are on Google Apps or Office 365, AWS or other IaaS platform, or all of the above. The modern directory that companies need now is Directory-as-a-Service®. Also known as DaaS, Directory-as-a-Service is in the family of solutions in the Identity-as-a-Service space. It is a next generation identity management platform.

As most IT admins know, it’s hard to cobble together multiple identity and access management solutions to accommodate the changing IT landscape. For any organization, there are multiple identity management platforms in its past. The process simply becomes a nightmare. Specifically, while moving to the cloud solves many problems, it also creates others. For example, cloud servers hosted at AWS or Digital Ocean are currently “out-of-purview” for most on-premise hosted directory services solutions. As a result, end user cloud apps such as Salesforce and Dropbox are managed by single sign-on vendors which require integration back to the core identity provider.

Macs are the fastest growing end-user compute device. Users love them. However, they are causing tremendous problems and pain for IT administrators. Managing Macs in the enterprise often goes undone. That means IT has little control over access to the device’s security posture. As more device types appear, including phones and tablets, the more IT is blind to its users and devices. That’s a recipe for security disaster, and one that needs to be solved quickly.

The move to Google’s enterprise email and productivity services, Google Apps for Work, is bifurcating the once dominant Active Directory/Exchange tandem. The challenge is that as organizations move email to Google Apps, they are still stuck with an on-premise directory. It’s an anchor preventing their full move to cloud services. Google’s user store is not meant to be a complete directory with full authentication, authorization, and management services. It was largely meant as a contacts list and control point for Google services.

JumpCloud®: Next Generation Modern Directory

Single sign-on (SSO) solutions are very popular today with investors. Unfortunately, they do not solve core internal IT problems. Even with SSO solutions for their Web apps, IT admins must still manage their desktops, servers, and internal Web apps. Let’s not forget about their cloud servers either. Web application single sign-on solutions are not the SSO approaches of old. The way that they differ is through a core user directory and management tools. It’s known as True SSO™. With decades of history and little innovation, solutions such as AD and OpenLDAP have set a foundation for what will be needed in the cloud eraUnfortunately, they have not made the jump to the cloud. These challenges are driving the innovation of a cloud identity management platform called Directory-as-a-Service®. This next generation directory stands on the shoulders of these giants but carves a new path for smart, modern organizations.

Greg Keller

JumpCloud CTO, Greg Keller is a career product visionary and executive management leader. With over two decades of product management, product marketing, and operations experience ranging from startups to global organizations, Greg excels in successful go-to-market execution.

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