Over the last decade, virtually every category within IT has been moving towards delivery “as-a-service”. In fact, it’s likely that nearly all IT categories will be cloud-based over the coming decade, eliminating the need for on-premise hardware or software.
The trend ends up following a similar pattern for most sub-segments within the IT market. We call it the network effect of SaaS. It starts with a legacy, on-premise software solution that has dominated the market. Businesses generally buy this piece of software on a perpetual and maintenance model which really treats the purchase as a capital expenditure. It’s usually expensive. And it often requires significant installation and ongoing management from IT professionals.
A challenger then emerges that shifts the software to the cloud and sells it as an ongoing, subscription service. The new SaaS-based solution eliminates both the need for the IT organization to purchase the hardware and software. Also, it eliminates the installation and management of those purchases. Operational ownership shifts to the new SaaS-based vendor. This initial foray leads to other innovations within the category. Since the software is delivered from the cloud, it can be updated on an ongoing basis leading to greater innovation. Over time, organizations look to replace their on-premise software with the SaaS-based version.
We’ve seen the network effect of SaaS impact a number of categories, including customer relationship management, ERP, and email. Interestingly, the directory services category hasn’t undergone this transformation. Until now, that is. JumpCloud® recently announced the first cloud-based directory service and is focused on taking the on-premise directory and shifting it to a SaaS-based model. Called Directory-as-a-Service® (DaaS), this category has a number of fundamental drivers that make the timing right for the shift to the cloud.
As with the move to IT-as-a-service, fundamental changes in the industry push a category to be delivered on a SaaS model. For DaaS, these changes stem from trends. For example, the shift to Infrastructure-as-a-Service, the proliferation of Mac devices, and the move to Google Apps and Office 365 have all been influential trends. The legacy on-premise directories Microsoft Active Directory and OpenLDAP have struggled to advance with these new trends. As a result, the opportunity to solve these issues emerges for new solutions like JumpCloud. The approach becomes a cloud, SaaS-centric approach, and the benefits include:
- The support of a wide variety of device and OS types.
- As increased focus on security and availability resulting in increased protection and productivity.
- Accessibility to virtually all organizations.
Let’s Talk More About The Trend To DaaS
We are seeing the shift to IT-as-a-Service and the latest category to make this move is directory services. If you are interested in the benefits of a SaaS-based model for your directory services, let us know. We would be happy to walk you through the benefits.