By Zach DeMeyer Posted February 8, 2019
The average workday of IT admins are chock full of tasks and to-dos. With IT infrastructure now being more critical to businesses than ever, IT admins are in demand. So, the value of everything they do must be analyzed and understood, especially from an executive’s perspective. Thankfully, the benefits of user management can be easily understood and agreed upon, given the long history of identity management within IT.
User Management Origins
The modern era of identity management really kicked off with the advent of the Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP). LDAP’s conception subsequently helped to create two major identity management solutions, Microsoft® Active Directory® and OpenLDAP™. The concept behind these user management solutions was to give IT admins the ability to control user access to the IT resources they needed.
The open-source OpenLDAP was able to provide widespread availability of the LDAP protocol to give admins control over on-prem application and server access. Meanwhile, Active Directory (AD) was ideal to control user access to Windows® networks and resources. With these traditional, on-prem identity and access management (IAM) tools, IT admins had the ability to provision, deprovision, and modify user access centrally. IT organizations could also specify password complexity settings to help with security.
Changes to Identity and Access Management
The legacy OpenLDAP/AD approach to user management worked well for a quite a long time. As the IT landscape shifted cloudwards, however, the user management process turned more complex. In fact, because of the advent of SaaS applications and cloud infrastructure, most IT organizations ended up having to manage users is many disparate places, rather than from one centralized location.
For instance, since Active Directory struggles to authenticate non-Windows, cloud based resources, IT admins needed to invest in additional identity management tools to federate access to them. These add-on tools were most often called Identity-as-a-Service (IDaaS) or single sign-on (SSO) solutions. Additional add-ons required by organizations included identity bridges for Mac® or Linux® systems, governance tools, and security solutions like MFA enablers.
While these add-ons help IT admins to accomplish their user management needs to a point, they added significant cost and work to IT organizations. So, although they could experience some of the benefits of user management, such as increased security and network control, they experienced some powerful drawbacks.
Benefits of Modern User Management
A modernized cloud identity and access management approach is changing the game for IT admins. No longer do IT admins have to manually manage a wide range of different types of solutions and add-ons. Instead, this Directory-as-a-Service® securely manages and connects users to their IT resources regardless of platform, protocol, provider, and location, all from one central console.
This means that the benefits of modern user management are solving for the historical drawbacks. Organizations can pick and choose the best IT resource options for their organization, dramatically increase security, eliminate the friction and frustration for end users trying to access IT resources, and keep costs in check. Those benefits of modern user management are critical as IT becomes a core part of every organization.
If your organization is interested in learning more of the benefits of user management, feel free to leave us a note or call. As experts in the IAM space, our team would be happy to help. Reap the benefits of user management, and sign up for JumpCloud® today. You can try Directory-as-a-Service absolutely free, with ten users included forever to get you started.