By George Lattimore Posted July 4, 2018
The web application single sign-on (SSO) market continues to carry a great deal of momentum as it moves forward in the identity management space. As more IT organizations shift their applications to the cloud, first generation Identity-as-a-Service (IDaaS) solutions remain a common consideration. In a crowded market, Okta® appears to have emerged as one of the market leaders. But with Google®, Microsoft®, Amazon®, and many others also interested in the web app SSO market, an Okta® comparison could help shed some light on the bigger picture.
Web App SSO Meets Vendor Lock-in
There’s no doubt that all of the major tech titans are eyeing the web app SSO market as a lucrative vantage point for the identity management space. The underlying motive for these tech titans is that by controlling an organization’s identities, they will simply have a better chance at selling them more products. That’s really the bottom line. These major companies are looking to integrate organization’s identities with their own products and services to incentivize customers to stay with them for more solutions. It’s like receiving catering, but without a choice of caterers.
A good example of this close-knit product integration is the SSO and user management solution, Azure® Active Directory®. Azure AD is tightly integrated with Office 365™ and Azure infrastructure. So, if you want to use AWS® cloud infrastructure along with Azure AD, you are basically out of luck—naturally, you’ll likely need to create a separate directory service at AWS.
Rest assured that with AWS, you can certainly do that. In fact, you’ll have the choice of about five different identity and access management solutions on AWS. Once you find the right one that fits your needs, you’ll quickly learn that it really only works on AWS, and not with Azure or Google Cloud Platform (GCP). See how that would play out?
Beyond an Okta Comparison
Well, the good news is that a third-party web application solution who remains independent from infrastructure solutions will work with a wide range of web applications. The bad news (there’s always some) is that web application SSO is only one part of an overall identity management strategy that needs to be solved.
So, thinking again about how this relates to Okta, it really isn’t a comparison with Google Cloud Identity, Azure Active Directory, or AWS SSO that’s driving interest, but rather, how SSO compares to directory services in general. SSO solutions have historically been add-ons to the legacy, on-prem identity provider, Microsoft® Active Directory (MAD). More recently, however, IT organizations have been dropping Active Directory in favor of a shift to the cloud. So now, the deeper question has become whether web application SSO is really enough to sustain IT organizations, or whether a cloud directory exists that can be a viable alternative to Active Directory.
Thankfully, there is a cloud identity management platform called JumpCloud® Directory-as-a-Service® that can securely manage and connect user identities with a wide range of IT resources, including systems, applications, files, and networks. Furthermore, this cloud identity provider integrates web application single sign-on capabilities, potentially obviating the need for a separate web app SSO point solution.
Directory-as-a-Service with True Single Sign-On™
Instead of just layering your SSO solution on top of your on-prem directory service, with True Single Sign-On™, you can leverage the entire directory service from the cloud. With just one credential, users can access all of your applications, both on-prem and in the cloud. What’s more is it’s platform agnostic, meaning you can have deep system management across Windows, Mac®, and Linux® with a variety of protocols at your disposal, including SAML, LDAP, SSH, RADIUS, and REST. In many ways, Directory-as-a-Service is reimagining what AD meant for centralized identity management, and taking it farther.
Want to know more about how Directory-as-a-Service can provide much more than an Okta comparison? Contact us by phone or drop us a note and we’ll be happy to discuss further. If you want to see features of Directory-as-a-Service in action, go ahead and sign up. Your first 10 users are on the house, forever.