By George Lattimore Posted March 10, 2019
There are traditional identity providers, and then there’s the cloud—but is there actually a cloud identity provider for MSPs? With the managed services market expected to grow to more than $40 billion by 2022, it’s an increasingly relevant and valuable question to ask. We all know Microsoft® Active Directory® (AD or MAD) has been the on-prem directory service of choice for MSPs and IT organizations for almost two decades running, but now’s the the time to ask: is there a cloud Active Directory alternative that could work directly for MSPs?
Setting the Record Straight
Well, as we’ll walk through below, there certainly is a cloud identity provider for MSPs; it just may not be what you think. Many might guess that Azure® Active Directory (AAD) would fit the bill, given the naming and the perception that Azure AD would be Active Directory in the cloud. As a Microsoft-representative has clarified in the past however, “Azure Active Directory is not designed to be the cloud version of Active Directory.” The problem is that Azure AD simply isn’t a replacement for Active Directory, but rather, it serves as one of many supplements in the Azure Marketplace.
The result here is that for MSPs who are trying to shift their business to the cloud and move away from the break/fix model, a highly tuned offering for Windows that requires AD on-prem (even with a cloud AD version) doesn’t make a lot of sense. In fact, requiring AD on-prem with Azure AD in the cloud can cause serious workflow complications for MSPs as they look to streamline and scale their remote client management.
Shifting Gears with a True Cloud Directory
Given that Active Directory has been just about the only game in town for directory services for the last two decades, it’s understandable that MSPs might lose hope looking for alternatives. As the cloud continues to push against on-prem limitations however, the need for a true cloud identity provider has only grown stronger. Is there a better alternative to Active Directory that’s emerged specifically for MSPs? The short answer is yes. A cloud identity provider called Directory-as-a-Service® is making inroads into the MSP market as a go-to identity management solution.
In order to identify a cloud identity provider for MSPs, the solution should be measured based on core functionality related to identity management, access control, and administration. As a stand-alone identity management platform that can fully replace AD in client environments, JumpCloud® Directory-as-a-Service provides MSPs with an all-inclusive solution at a single price point. As opposed to Azure AD or Active Directory, Directory-as-a-Service is vendor-neutral, cross-platform, and protocol-driven. This enables MSPs to centrally manage regardless of the platforms, protocols, location, or providers being used in their client environments. Furthermore, the free-to-use Multi-Tenant Portal encourages MSPs to scale their business by managing all of their clients from one pane of glass, with zero on-prem hardware required.
Learn More About A Cloud Identity Provider for MSPs
Ready to see if Directory-as-a-Service is truly a cloud identity provider for MSPs specifically? Sign up for the platform, explore all the features, and register 10 users per client at no cost at all. If you’d like to speak with a product expert, drop us a note, or go ahead and apply to be a Partner at we’ll follow up with details.