By Jon Griffin Posted October 1, 2017
A new wave of technology solutions has emerged, known as cloud identity management. Some have questioned its value – but that’s largely because it is difficult to quantify. In this blog post, we’ll look at how you can calculate the ROI of cloud identity management.
What is Cloud Identity Management?
Before we dive into the ROI of cloud identity management, we should hit what we mean by the term. Identity management solutions have been around for a number of years, but in general, most people have associated identity management with Microsoft Active Directory®. This makes a lot of sense because Microsoft AD is a virtual monopoly in the marketplace. Because of this, most IT organizations didn’t even bother to try and calculate the ROI of AD.
Fast forward to the current IT environment and the identity management landscape is incredibly different. Many IT organizations are trying to avoid implementing Active Directory or are trying to replace Active Directory. Either way, there is a new thought process emerging and with it comes the value of taking a different approach.
The alternative to Active Directory is a cloud identity management solution called Directory-as-a-Service®. It functions as a replacement to AD and ends up being a next generation, SaaS-based solution for directory services. The good news is that Directory-as-a-Service serves mixed, cross-platform environments including systems (Mac, Linux, Windows), cloud infrastructure (AWS, Google Cloud Platform, etc.), G Suite or Office 365, WiFi, physical and virtual storage, and cloud or on-prem applications. Because of the IDaaS platform’s ability to serve as the core user database for virtually all users and IT resources, it also ends up being far more cost effective.
What’s the ROI of Cloud Identity Management?
When calculating the ROI of cloud identity management, there are a few key areas to evaluate:
- Cost of manual user management – if you aren’t planning to use an automated cloud identity management solution, you’ll end up manually provisioning and deprovisioning users across your IT resources. This can be extremely time intensive depending upon the number of people and IT resources that you have in your organization. It’s easy to see how this equation can get out of hand and complicated. If you have an environment where the organization is growing quickly or undergoes a great deal of change, the problem will be exacerbated. It will be reasonably straightforward to see how much time IT admins are spending on onboarding / offboarding and manual changes to user access.
- Cost of implementing various identity management tools – a benefit of cloud identity management is that it integrates a number of areas of identity management into one platform, including user management of systems and cloud infrastructure, True Single Sign-On™ to web and on-prem applications, system management with policies and commands, multi-factor authentication, cloud LDAP and RADIUS, and more. IT admins usually have to solve each of these problems independently or implement unique solutions. All of that cost adds up quickly. Depending upon the components of cloud identity management you end up using, you’ll be able to calculate the savings you’ll generate.
- Value of increased security – more difficult to quantify, but clearly very important is the value that you’ll receive from increased security. Your user identities will be far more secure, as will your devices. With functionality for password complexity management, SSH key management, multi-factor authentication, and more, Directory-as-a-Service will dramatically step-up your security profile.
Can you benefit from Cloud IAM?
If you would like to dig in more to the ROI of cloud identity management, drop us a note. We’d be happy to share our ROI calculator template that you can customize to your own specific requirements. In addition, you should feel free to give JumpCloud’s alternative to Active Directory a try for yourself. See how it compares and how much time, money, and resources you save. Your first 10 users are free forever.