Web application single sign-on (SSO) platforms have become essential for organizations looking to grant secure access to cloud-based resources. Among these SSO platforms are Okta and Ping Identity®. As IT admins connect users to web applications often using legacy directory services (namely Microsoft® Active Directory® (AD) as the base), is the heavyweight fight of the single sign-on world Okta vs. Ping Identity?
What are Okta and Ping Identity?
Ping Identity basically created the single sign-on category in the early 2000s by extending identities to web applications. Okta’s single sign-on took the SSO category one step further and delivered the solution as a service from the cloud, now often called IDaaS or Identity-as-a-Service. Now, both Ping Identity and Okta leverage their SSO solutions from the cloud, with Ping also offering on-prem solutions for organizations that require their IT management technology within their corporate walls, if you will.
Okta vs. Ping Identity
Although both of these now-public companies compete heavily in the enterprise web application SSO space, they have segmented their focus over time. It seems as though Ping Identity continues to be successful with large enterprises that require an on-prem SSO solution, while Okta has been successful with those large enterprises that are keen to leverage SSO from the cloud. For those looking to move away from legacy, on-prem solutions, Okta may be the better fit. In contrast, Ping Identity grants admins the option to pick how they wish to leverage their SSO solutions, which may be ideal for organizations currently seeking to maintain their on-prem infrastructure and potentially move to the cloud over time. Ping offers flexibility in what needs an organization wants to serve, so they may keep on-prem hardware for now, and can choose to move to the cloud at a later time.
Interestingly, while these two market leaders have been targeting the web application SSO market, the overall identity and access management (IAM) category has been in a state of flux. With more organizations shifting their entire IT infrastructure to the cloud, the concept of the core identity provider has come into focus. Traditionally, IT organizations leveraged AD on-prem, but with the changes in the market, admins have started to search for a new, cloud-based identity provider.
This new generation of IAM solutions has been subsuming many other major areas, including web application single sign-on. And with that in mind, the bigger question may not be about Ping Identity vs. Okta. The larger focus may be, is there a holistic solution that combines identity, user, and access management with SSO capabilities?
Next-Generation IAM Solution
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