By Natalie Bluhm Posted April 20, 2018
Okta® is one of the hottest new companies on the public stock market. As an Identity-as-a-Service (IDaaS) provider, Okta has made a name for themselves in the web application single sign-on (SSO) market. As Okta continues to chase the enterprise market, is there an Okta competitor worthy of consideration? What factors do IT organizations need to consider when comparing the Okta competition? Has there been any new innovation in the identity management space?
These are some great questions, and answering them requires a look at how the identity management market has evolved. So, let’s take a look at how the identity management space started. Then we’ll take a look at the opportunity that drove Okta to pioneer the first generation Identity-as-a-Service market or what is commonly known as web app SSO.
Identity Management Beginnings
The identity management market didn’t really take off until Microsoft® introduced Active Directory® in 1999. Active Directory was built to manage on-prem, Windows-based IT resources, and since this is what most IT networks were based on in the late 1990s, AD became an instant hit. Shortly after, though, web applications started to appear, and some IT organizations started to leverage them.
The thing is, web-based applications aren’t on-prem and they aren’t Microsoft-based. So, AD had a challenging time controlling and managing user access to this new IT resource. The result? A new generation of identity and access management solution was born.
Web App SSO Solutions Take Off – Including Okta
Called web application single sign-on, this identity management category first appeared as an on-prem category that was tightly integrated with Active Directory. Okta entered into the space shortly after, but they shifted the concept of web app SSO from being on-prem to the cloud. By this time, Google Apps (now known as G Suite™) had been created, there was significant momentum to shift to web apps, and analysts started to call the web app SSO category, IDaaS.
A number of other web application SSO providers quickly followed Okta’s lead, and now even organizations such as Google, AWS®, and Microsoft are in on the action of this hot identity management category.
Web App SSO is No Longer Enough
Web app SSO has been a useful tool for managing user access to SaaS applications, but the IT landscape has changed even more since the first web-based application appeared. For example, Mac® and Linux® systems are more popular than ever; cloud infrastructure has risen in use; and NAS appliances replaced Windows File Server. So, these days Active Directory plus web app SSO isn’t enough because there are too many IT resources that aren’t within IT’s control.
As a result, IT admins are not looking to an Okta competitor, but are rather seeking out a different approach to cloud identity management. IT admins are looking to make changes in the directory service, rather than at the web app SSO layer. A new cloud directory service is shifting an IT admin’s ability to tightly manage and control a wide range of IT resources and subsequently reimagine what an AD plus web app SSO approach would look like. This next generation identity management solution is called JumpCloud® Directory-as-a-Service®.
Competitor to SSO: JumpCloud
JumpCloud can help you centralize user access to all of your web-based applications and everyday IT resources like systems (Mac, Linux, and Windows), legacy apps, on-prem and virtual file storage, and wired and wireless networks. We call this comprehensive approach to identity management True Single Sign-On™ because users literally only need one set of credentials to access virtually all of their digital assets. Additionally, JumpCloud is the source of truth for your user identities, so you can finally eliminate your on-prem directory service, and go all cloud. You no longer have to deal with the configuration, maintenance, and management that comes with an on-prem directory service. Instead, we take care of that for you.
Using JumpCloud, you can shift to the cloud, empower your users with frictionless access to all of their IT resources, and gain widespread visibility and control over your entire IT environment. It’s amazing what you can accomplish with a True SSO solution.
Find Out More
Discover more about the Okta competitor market. Alternatively, you can learn more about JumpCloud Directory-as-a-Service, by dropping us a note. If you’re ready to do a side-by-side comparison, sign up for a free account. Your first ten users are free forever, and you’ll have access to the entire platform. This way you’ll be able to truly find out if our cloud identity management platform is what you’re looking for. If you need any help along the way, you’ll likely find answers in our YouTube Tutorial playlist or our Knowledge Base articles.