How to Know It’s Time to Supplement Active Directory

Written by Megan Anderson on December 27, 2019

Share This Article

Does the phrase “Active Directory® Mac management” make your skin crawl? Does the thought of connecting on-prem identities to web applications give you a migraine? You aren’t the only one. 

While it has been the leading on-premise directory service for 20 years, AD has not fully adapted to the cloud era of today. As a result, many IT admins have been wondering when and how to rig their AD instance with supplementary tools to extend those identities to resources that AD natively struggles with. But how do you know when it’s time to supplement AD?

Down the (Supplement) Rabbit Hole 

Innovations like Mac®, Linux®, cloud apps, WiFi, and more have end users buzzing, but unbeknownst to them, those innovations have made your work much more difficult and time-consuming. In response to this, you’ve likely purchased additional tools that inadvertently led you down a rabbit hole.

For example, you may have purchased a web application single sign-on (SSO) platform that extends users’ AD credentials to web applications. While it may have connected your users to some apps, it may also have excluded others. Now those users will need to have multiple logins for each service the SSO provider does not cover. 

Supplements for Cross-System Management

Then there’s the issue of Mac and Linux management. If your organization has a BYOD policy, you know this problem all too well. You may use OpenLDAP in tandem with AD to manage Linux devices and applications, but that still leaves Macs unmanaged. To accommodate them, you have to use an IAM tool on top of AD (and any other ones you already have).

We could continue this list of hypotheticals, but it’s clear that one supplementation often leads to another. While they certainly help patch up the issues you may have with AD, they continuously put a drain on your budget, your time, and your sanity. Each supplement increases the cost of your AD instance by layering on its own monthly charges. Meanwhile, the complexities involved with implementation demand greater mental stamina to ensure everything, on every service, runs smoothly.

The Next Generation of Active Directory Supplements

Now, you may love some of the supplements mentioned above. They may be as integral to your Active Directory instance as Active Directory is to your organization. If this is the case, then you’re already on your way to bringing your AD to its ideal state. However, there are likely some that you wish you didn’t need — that you would ideally consolidate into one, single solution. If so, then you are in luck. 

There is a service that’s less of a supplement to AD as it is an integrated tool. It provides SSO, MFA, system management, governance, and much more from a single cloud console — like a Swiss Army Knife for IAM. It not only supports a mixed-platform environment, but is also dedicated to remaining vendor-neutral and independent. This means that regardless of whether your users work on Mac, Windows, or Linux machines, you will be able to manage them all.  

This solution is cloud-hosted as well, meaning that your hybrid users will be able to have access to all the resources they need regardless of whether they are working remote or on-prem. It also keeps the cost of server management to a minimum, allowing you to stay within your budget and continue working as you preferably would.

Learn More

To learn more about how you can supplement Active Directory efficiently, try out the service for free or drop us a line for more questions.

Continue Learning with our Newsletter