SaaS Identity Management

Written by Ryan Squires on December 3, 2019

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IT solutions have been moving to the cloud and as-a-Service models rapidly. There are Infrastructure-as-a-Service solutions such as AWS®, Google Cloud Platform®, and Azure®. Then of course, there are also Software-as-a-Service examples such as Salesforce®, Box, GitHub, and many more that organizations use regularly. However, the SaaS Identity management concept has been slow to join the as-a-Service market.

Evolution of IAM

Largely, the identity and access management (IAM) space has been delivered on-prem for decades. Identity providers like OpenLDAP™ or Active Directory® have long been the leaders in the space, with on-prem solutions available since the 90s. Because of this, the idea of shifting core IT infrastructure as critical as identities to the cloud has been less than obvious. However, with nearly every other area of IT making the move, the on-prem solutions were starting to show their flaws. 

The identity management space is quite broad, so non-core areas such as web application single sign-on (SSO) started the shift to the cloud almost a decade ago. These solutions were the first generation of IDaaS solutions to make the leap to the cloud. Of course, they were only federating identities to web applications, and were not the core identity provider. This was a much less risky transition in the eyes of admins.

Now, though, the core identity management platform in an organization – the directory service – is starting to make the leap to the cloud. With more advanced security techniques, as well as significant innovation on connecting a single identity to virtually all IT resources, the benefits are too large to ignore. With cloud identity management, you can have increased productivity for end users and IT, more time to focus on higher value projects for IT staff, avoid lock-in with vendors, and reduce the chances of identity theft occurring. Modern organizations are recognizing these benefits, and are taking advantage of them to get ahead in their respective industries. 

The Creation of SaaS Identity Management 

The modern day IT infrastructure is far different from when Microsoft Active Directory was created. The legacy all Microsoft Windows and on-prem network has given way to a mixed platform, heterogeneous environment. Further, the IT landscape is not only on-prem, but operates from the cloud and remote offices or locations. In short, the legacy identity management approach just doesn’t work for the modern IT network.

Thus, the creation of a new category – SaaS identity management . A far cry from being a web application single sign-on solution – or first generation IDaaS approach as it has been called – the new cloud identity management approach is to manage and connect user identities to the IT resources that users need. Those IT resources include systems (Windows, Mac, Linux), cloud and on-prem servers (e.g. AWS, GCP, Azure, etc.), web and on-prem applications via LDAP and SAML, physical and virtual storage (Samba file shares, Dropbox, etc.), and wired and WiFi networks via RADIUS.

Check out SaaS Identity Management For Yourself

If you would like to learn more about a SaaS Identity Management platform, reach out to us. We would be happy to talk about how our innovative Directory-as-a-Service® platform can help your organization make the move to the cloud.You can also try out the cloud-based directory for yourself, free of charge. Your first 10 users are free forever, with no credit card required, so there’s no reason not to give it a shot. Sign up for a free account today!

Ryan Squires

Ryan Squires is a content writer at JumpCloud, a company dedicated to connecting users to the IT resources they need securely and efficiently. He has a degree in Journalism and Media Communication from Colorado State University.

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