Business Case for Cloud Directory Services

Virtually every organization is looking at how to leverage modern IT solutions.

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With more business and commerce being done online, there is no doubt that organizations are looking for the best approaches to IT. Often, that means starting with cloud transformations for legacy organizations, and a cloud first approach for new organizations. As a result, IT organizations are making a business case for cloud directory services.

Why Create A Business Case for Cloud Directory Services?

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Historically, a significant impediment to shifting to the cloud has been security and control over access. With significant risk of a security breach these days, IT organizations are extremely wary about the cloud and identity security. To try and avoid these challenges, many IT organizations have chosen to continue leveraging trusted on-prem, legacy directory services solutions such as Microsoft® Active Directory® (AD) and OpenLDAP – despite their numerous limitations with modern networks.

However, as the IT landscape has evolved, these legacy identity providers have struggled. For example, Active Directory is ideal for on-prem Windows® environments, whereas OpenLDAP works best with IT resources that support the LDAP protocol. That’s all well and good, but modern IT networks are far more complex. Fortunately, there are cloud directory services platforms that are essentially AD and LDAP reimagined for modern IT networks. However, as with any new approach, IT admins must create a business case for cloud directory services.

Why Replace On-Prem Directory Services?

Modern IT networks aren’t all Windows or based on the LDAP authentication protocol. For many organizations, these struggles have often prevented shifting to modern IT resources leaving them less competitive and efficient than their competitors. For example, IT organizations struggle with Mac® and Linux® systems, cloud infrastructure from AWS®  and Google Cloud Platform, modern productivity platforms such as G Suite or Office 365, new approaches to storage like Samba file servers and NAS appliances or cloud options like Google Drive and Box, and secure WiFi networking.

Advantages of next-gen cloud directory services

IT organizations have traditionally tried to address these shortcomings with the on-prem identity provider by finding add-on identity management solutions such as identity bridges, web application single sign-on (SSO), multi-factor authentication (2FA/MFA), privileged identity management, and more. The challenge with this approach is that each of these solutions becomes one more platform to be controlled and managed, increasing work and cost.

What is the Business Case for Cloud Directory Services?

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Fortunately, a new generation of cloud identity management solution is emerging to solve these challenges, and the business case for a modern identity management solution is compelling. After all, next generation cloud infrastructure is replacing data centers. Web applications are available for every function and exist to modernize work. Cloud and new cost-effective physical storage solutions such as Samba file servers and NAS appliances are changing file storage. Mac and Linux laptops and desktops are replacing Windows machines. WiFi networks are the new standard of networking. All of these modern approaches to IT can provide significant benefits to end users and IT organizations.

A cloud directory service can securely manage and connect users to these types of IT resources and more, often at a fraction of the cost of traditional solutions and without the hassle. Antiquated on-prem directory services struggle to achieve the same result, and require multiple third party tools that are costly and a major headache to implement and maintain. In other words, cloud directory services are modernizing the approach to identity management for IT organizations.

Key Advantages of Cloud Directory Services

Eliminate Wasteful Work


Automation is critical in today’s IT environment. End users are mobile and working 24×7, so the standard IT help desk that is available from 9 to 5 isn’t going to cut it. IT organizations need tools and solutions that enable end users to solve their problems while eliminating wasteful, tedious work for IT. There may be no better example of this than the password reset. Requiring end users to call an IT help desk is not only frustrating for the end user, but distracting and expensive for IT. Next generation solutions such as a cloud directory service eliminate tedious work and automate significant parts of the identity management process.

 

Increased Security


Controlling access to all IT resources is mandatory these days. With high-profile identity breaches happening virtually every day, there’s no margin for error for IT organizations. End users need to have strong passwords, leverage SSH keys and MFA where possible, and keep their systems secure. That’s a significant challenge with legacy solutions, but with a modern cloud directory service, it is possible and easy-to-implement.

 

Save Money


There’s no doubt that new IT solutions need to be cost-effective. Legacy IT solutions have been expensive to implement including hardware, software, data center costs, security, redundancy, and more. That’s not including management and maintenance costs, which may be the most significant part of the equation in any IT implementation. SaaS-based solutions are far more cost-effective and help IT organizations pay for what they need, when they need it. Ongoing management of the platform is the responsibility of the vendor, not the IT organization. If the SaaS vendor doesn’t perform, IT organizations aren’t locked in as they would be with internal solutions that include long-term hardware, software, data centers, expert personnel, and other fixed costs. A SaaS cloud directory service can save significant money for an organization.

Learn More About Cloud Directory Services

The bottom line is that a cloud directory service can be at the center of an organization’s cloud transformation or their cloud first design. The business case of the cloud directory is not just cost savings, but rather unlocking new innovations and potential for an organization. This is achievable with the JumpCloud® Directory-as-a-Service® platform.

Watch our whiteboard presentation to help you build a business case for cloud directory services. Contact JumpCloud or schedule a demo for more information. You can even sign up for a free account and explore the full functionality of our platform at no cost.