What is Google IDaaS?

Written by Rajat Bhargava on February 9, 2017

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Google IDaaS is one concept of identity management in the cloud. Google has a number of different approaches to identity for their consumer and business offerings, including the Google Cloud IAM platform, Google Identity Services, Google Identity Platform, and more.

Like any of the tech titans, Google’s goal is to own your identity. If they can own your personal or professional identity, they can more easily monetize it. As Tim Cook famously said, “If you aren’t the customer, you are the product.” In other words, Google is monetizing your identity by knowing more about you or by trying to lock you into their services.

Our focus with respect to Google IDaaS or Google Identity-as-a-Service is really G Suite’s existing directory approach.

Understanding Google IDaaS as a Directory

G Suite Directory is largely a contact database and a user management system for Google services. Google has recently expanded their authentication services to include a select few web applications. The authentication of these web apps – similar to SSO providers Okta and Ping Identity – are done via the SAML and OAuth protocols.

This is primarily where the concept of Google IDaaS comes from. Since IDaaS solutions have historically been a web application single sign-on solution, that’s how the IT world views Google IDaaS.

Our oft-stated view has a much broader view of the term Identity-as-a-Service. In general, if you are talking about IDaaS, you should own the identity. Most IDaaS solutions, including Google’s approach, aren’t an identity provider for an organization’s entire IT infrastructure. In a sense, IDaaS solutions historically have not been replacements to Microsoft Active Directory.

G Suite Integration, Central Control

The good news for IT admins is that a new generation of IDaaS solutions is focused on being a cloud-hosted identity provider for virtually all of an organization’s IT resources. It’s a centralized identity management platform called Directory-as-a-Service®. It’s not only an alternative to Active Directory, but it also serves as the cloud system to securely connect user identities to the systems, applications, and networks those users need. Since the platform is independent, it works seamlessly with Mac, Windows, and Linux platforms, cloud and on-prem applications, and WiFi networks and infrastructure. The cloud-hosted directory service is location agnostic, thus ensuring that users and IT resources can be anywhere in the world.

To the benefit of G Suite customers, Directory-as-a-Service tightly integrates with G Suite and Office 365. Users can be provisioned, deprovisioned, and modified in G Suite from the cloud directory, thereby creating a central pane of control and visibility for IT admins.

Increase Your Potential with JumpCloud®

If you would like to learn more about what Google IDaaS is, drop us a note. Also, take a look at Directory-as-a-Service as a next-generation IDaaS solution. Since your first 10 users are free forever, sign up for a free account today.

Rajat Bhargava

Rajat Bhargava is co-founder and CEO of JumpCloud, the first Directory-as-a-Service (DaaS). JumpCloud securely connects and manages employees, their devices and IT applications. An MIT graduate with two decades of experience in industries including cloud, security, networking and IT, Rajat is an eight-time entrepreneur with five exits including two IPOs, three trade sales and three companies still private.

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