ROI of Identity and Access Management

Written by Zach DeMeyer on January 24, 2019

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One of the most important categories in the IT field over the last few years has been identity and access management (IAM). This area of IT is a critical point of focus among admins, due to the fundamental cloudward shift across IT, as well as the increasing emphasis on identity security. While it is easy to assume that the IAM category is valuable, it is still important for IT organizations to demonstrate the return of investment (ROI) of identity and access management.

Calculating Costs


The key to determining the ROI of an IT solution is to analyze its direct and indirect cost savings and the value it generates. In the case of an identity management platform, the key direct costs include (but are not limited to): client access licenses (CALS) of the IAM software used, security and HA infrastructure, any potential servers needed, as well as any additional tools needed and the overhead costs/pay for IT admins. By optimizing these costs, organizations can realize the ability to save money on headcount, infrastructure, and other software solutions.

While the above costs can be directly seen on budgets and end-of-month reports, IAM solutions bring other, less liquid costs (or benefits) to the table. These intangible costs of IAM can include: keeping an organization’s identities secure, enabling employees and admins to be more productive, and peace of mind for IT admins to just name a few. These costs/benefits may be harder to value monetarily, but for the folks involved, these facets can add to the overall ROI of IAM significantly.

ROI of Traditional IAM Solutions

Microsoft Active Directory

In the modern era, the ROI of identity and access management from legacy solutions such as Microsoft® Active Directory® isn’t great. During its heyday, Active Directory (AD) was often considered a “free” solution. In reality, organizations paying for the CALs of Windows® Server also received access to the popular IAM solution, so, by being a rider on top of Windows Server, AD could be considered “free.” That, of course, didn’t mean that it could simply be used as is; AD also required extensive infrastructure on-prem to operate.

The advent of the cloud did not do much to improve the ROI of AD. In fact, because AD was essentially the only game in town to solve the identity management problem, most organizations didn’t bother with even trying to figure out the return on investment. Couple that with the adoption to a wide range of AD add-ons such as web application single sign-on, privileged identity management, identity bridges, multi-factor authentication, governance solutions, and much more, and the ROI only got worse. More solutions were needed to be able to handle the entire IT infrastructure, which has been shifting away from on-prem, Windows-based solutions.

ROI of Modern IAM


The good news is that there is a next generation cloud identity management solution, called JumpCloud® Directory-as-a-Service®, that is turning the ROI equation on its head. This modern identity provider is a number of key identity management and systems management solutions combined into one. Think of it as Active Directory reimagined for the cloud era.

As a part of said reimagination, Directory-as-a-Service is completely serverless, unlike the traditionally on-prem Active Directory, offered completely from the cloud via web browser. This cloud directory service also features True Single Sign-On™, authenticating users to their systems, networks, applications, and more, regardless of platform, provider, protocol, or location. Using a single solution to accomplish all of your IAM needs is an effective and cost-conscious approach, requiring no servers or add-on solutions on top of your existing bill.

Learn More

Improve the ROI of your identity and access management approach, and try JumpCloud today, absolutely free for your first ten users. For organizations larger than ten, we offer a reasonable pricing model, with multiple tiers depending on how much functionality your organization needs. You can learn more about the product by contacting us, or by exploring our blog.

Zach DeMeyer

Zach is a Product Marketing Specialist at JumpCloud with a degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Colorado School of Mines. He loves being on the cutting edge of new technology, and when he's not working, he enjoys all things outdoors, music, and soccer.

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