By Vince Lujan Posted March 26, 2018
Unified access management is a new term in the identity management space that has recently drawn a lot of attention. Yet, some vendors and analysts seem to think this concept is limited to cloud and on-prem applications. We believe that true unified access management should include systems, applications, files, and networks – regardless of where they are located. We’ll set the record straight in this blog post. First, though, we should talk about the concept of unified access management from a high level.
What is Unified Access Management?
Unified access management is a marketing term that is being developed by analysts and vendors to express that the modern user identity is no longer only in the cloud or only on-prem – but rather an integration of both concepts. That’s a good definition. Yet, as mentioned, many vendors have been using this term loosely in regards to a new “unified” approach to access management for cloud and on-prem applications. First generation Identity-as-a-Service (IDaaS) solutions seem to be the source this misunderstanding – specifically, web application single sign-on (SSO) providers. If we step back and look at the role SSO solutions have traditionally played within IT networks, then it’s easy to see why.
Traditional SSO solutions were originally designed to work on top of a core identity provider (IdP) – primarily, on-prem implementations of Microsoft® Active Directory® (AD). AD has always struggled to manage access to web applications, among other things. These limitations opened the door for third party vendors to create add-on solutions that could extend AD identities to cloud applications.
IDaaS solutions thrived in this type of environment for many years. Interestingly, however, IT organizations all over the world have started to eliminate their on-prem identity management infrastructure in favor of cloud alternatives. This IT approach to IAM is forcing the web application SSO providers to now go back and add support for on-prem applications. The challenge then becomes that IDaaS solutions were never designed to be the core identity provider, but rather to complement an existing one. IDaaS solutions weren’t designed to support authentication protocols other than SAML either (e.g., LDAP, RADIUS, Kerberos, native system APIs). That was Active Directory’s role. Without AD in the picture, traditional IDaaS solutions will have to adapt to survive and just supporting on-prem apps won’t be enough.
The SSO Identity Crisis
The issue is that unified access management for applications is but one piece of the overall IT management puzzle. What about the systems, files, networks, and everything else that users need access to? When you consider all of the IT resources that organizations leverage on a daily basis, it’s clear that there’s nothing unified about “unified access management” because IT admins will still have to implement additional solutions to truly have One Identity to Rule them All®. The good news is that a new core identity provider has emerged from the cloud that can provide true unified access management beyond Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) and on-prem applications.
True Unified Access Management
JumpCloud® Directory-as-a-Service® is a breath of fresh air in the directory services space that securely manages and connects users to virtually any IT resource, including cloud and on-prem applications and a lot more. As a core identity provider tailored for modern networks, IT admins need no other solution. In fact, the JumpCloud management experience feels a lot like Active Directory back when everything was Windows-based. The difference is that JumpCloud Directory-as-a-Service goes above and beyond the use cases of AD to provide enterprise grade management capabilities for modern networks – regardless of the platform, provider, protocol, or location of your IT resources – not to mention it is completely cloud-based.
The benefit of this approach is that IT admins can provide unified access management for applications, but also true unified access management that spans the breadth of their IT infrastructure. One solution that can manage access to all of your IT resources – that is the essence of unified access management. This is achievable with JumpCloud Directory-as-a-Service.
Learn More About Unified Access Management
Contact JumpCloud to learn more about unified access management. You can also schedule a demo, or sign up for JumpCloud Directory-as-a-Service to see true unified access management for all of your IT resources in action. We offer ten free users forever so that you can explore the full functionality of our platform at no cost. Sign up today!