Why Centralized User Management is Important

Written by Greg Keller on August 31, 2015

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Today’s IT environments leverage all facets of the cloud and on-premise services, so it’s no wonder that IT admins are struggling to centrally manage users. With bring-your-own-device, or BYOD, policies in place at most organizations, employees are now using a variety of device types, including Macs®, Linux devices®, iOS® machines, and Android® phones and tablets.

While a BYOD policy can take on many forms, it creates a key problem for IT admins: most of those popular operating systems don’t connect back to traditional directory services, such as Microsoft® Active Directory® or OpenLDAP™. SaaS-based applications and Infrastructure-as-a-Service solutions, such as AWS® and Google Compute Engine, also present problems connecting to the organization’s directory in order to enable one central user management system.

Then there is the issue of remote workers around the world needing access to a wide variety of the organization’s IT cloud server resources and applications.

The Need for Centralized User Management

“So, what?” is a common question in the modern era of user management. Computing is different nowadays. Companies let workers leverage their own devices, so why not let them also utilize whatever applications and cloud server resources they need? Why not let IT be completely decentralized and let each worker use what is best for them?

There are many advantages to this era in IT. The decentralized nature of IT resources across the globe with SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS is hugely advantageous to organizations today. Companies can hire talent independent of location, for instance. The challenges, however, are significant.

Shadow IT has existed for some time now,  and that mandates organizations to increase security, compliance, and visibility. An organization’s most critical assets today are online. And those crown jewels are being attacked at unprecedented rates. As a result, IT admins look for and need centralized control over resources, no matter where they are, while also allowing departments and employees the flexibility they need.

Centralized User Management: Done the Right Way

Learn more about JumpCloud

The solution to this IT conundrum is simple when done right: Allow organizations the flexibility they need when choosing whatever IT resources are right for them, but control user access centrally. Centralized user management allows IT the control and visibility over every device, application, or network across the organization, without dictating what resources are the right choice for each group. Central control over users ensures that digital assets stay within the organization. IT can provision access to the right people and terminate access across all resources when an employee or contractor leaves. Plus, central control over users is a critical audit point for compliance.

At JumpCloud®, our solution solves the problem of centralizing user management. Having had  thousands of customer conversations, we’ve realized that central control over users is fundamental to organizations leveraging this modern era of cloud computing.

JumpCloud’s Directory-as-a-Service® solution enables organizations and their IT teams to control devices, applications, and networks regardless of platform type or location. JumpCloud does this through a central SaaS-based platform. All devices, applications, and networks point back to JumpCloud and authenticate via a variety of different protocols, including LDAP, SAML, RADIUS, SSH (not completely a protocol, of course), or REST.

The net for IT admins is a centralized user management platform that covers virtually all of their IT resources in a simple, easy-to-manage service. Your organization still maintains the flexibility it needs to leverage the best devices and applications on the market. And you can hire the best talent, independent of location, without worrying about IT cloud security, or the lack thereof.

Are you currently struggling with how to centralize management of your users? Take a look at JumpCloud – it’s part of the Identity-as-a-Service market. Feel free to sign up for a free JumpCloud account (no credit card required). Your first 10 users are free forever.

Greg Keller

JumpCloud CTO, Greg Keller is a career product visionary and executive management leader. With over two decades of product management, product marketing, and operations experience ranging from startups to global organizations, Greg excels in successful go-to-market execution.

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