How IT Teams Benefit from SaaS-Based LDAP

Businesses have been leveraging LDAP protocols for ages. But technological developments – especially the advent of the cloud – have turned the IT world on its head. Unfortunately, LDAP hasn’t been able to keep up.

Emerging Challenges with LDAP

It used to be that a Microsoft Windows desktop was the industry standard device for every staff member. But in today’s “BYOD” (Bring Your Own Device) culture, employees use whatever devices they own, be it a tablet, mobile device, or laptop. Each device still must connect to their corporate identity.

Business has seen the advent of a plethora of platforms, services, and protocols that employees must now use. They help business to move faster, but synchronizing the user identities across all these services is complicated. It’s up to IT admins to allow users to securely leverage their identity across all services, third party and internal.

Security is every IT department’s top priority. With more critical information online and increasingly savvy hackers, the biggest risk today is compromised employee credentials. IT needs to establish a robust, secure user store so that they can manage the email, applications, cloud-based infrastructure, and varied devices that businesses now rely on.

Hosted LDAP – The Modern Solution

In dealing with the challenges above, traditional LDAP is clumsy at best and totally obsolete at worst. With all of the upkeep that IT admins must do in order to keep their LDAP user management directory running all the time, organizations are pouring a huge amount of resources and personnel into an outmoded approach to the directory. But until recently, there was no other alternative.

Today, SaaS-based services are picking up conventional LDAP’s slack and providing businesses with a real solution. These services specialize in all of the challenges of running a modern directory so that their clients don’t have too – and they do it remotely and securely. For businesses with existing LDAP servers, SaaS-based services are able to host LDAP on the cloud, but also provide a great deal more functionality.

This is the future of directories: hire a service that specializes in managing and bearing the expense of infrastructure so that you can focus on your businesses’ core competencies and goals.

Benefits of LDAP-as-a-Service

Your user directory store should be highly available. Hosted LDAP services give you that at a much lower cost. You don’t need to invest in the infrastructure and code to make it highly available, or the time and effort to manage it. SaaS-based services are “always on.” Uptime and availability are at the core of their business models.

Another benefit is standard APIs. LDAP-as-a-Service is able to act as the central source of truth for user credentials across the spectrum. In addition to the LDAP protocol, modern hosted LDAP solutions can integrate with Web-federation protocols such as SAML or OAuth. Hosted LDAP solutions also support a variety of applications and devices, including Mac OS, Windows, and Linux. As a standard protocol, LDAP is widely understood and accepted across the board, but as a complete solution your “LDAP directory” needs to be exposed in a variety of different ways including alternate protocols.

The biggest reason to switch to a LDAP-as-a-Service? That would be security. Hosted LDAP helps keep your identities secure by maintaining one, central, source of truth and letting that propagate properly. IT admins are able to secure the directory store and enforce users to use SSH keys or rotate their passwords or easily review who has accessed their core systems.

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