Organizations that have moved to cloud services have experienced a 20% improvement in time to market, an 18% increase in process efficiency, and a 15% reduction in IT spending. As a result, many organizations are adopting a cloud-first strategy by shifting IT resources like email, productivity platforms, data centers, and more to the cloud. The migration of these resources has gone well, and many are onto the next step in their cloud strategy: shifting their IT management infrastructure to the cloud.
With this next step, one of the first moves for many innovative organizations involves identifying the value of cloud directory services, and they’re smart to do so.
Directory services have been the foundation for IT networks for almost two decades now. If you step back and think about what a core directory service does, it basically enables your team to do their work. They are able to connect to whatever they need to Make Work Happen™. A directory service is that core and strategic.
As modern IT tools have shifted to the cloud and become web-based, the traditional directory service hasn’t shifted and adjusted with it. So, your team is likely either getting less work done, is less efficient, or is not using the best tools and technology they can. The result is less work happens. This is why choosing the right IT management tools is critical.
The right tools help IT organizations be the enablers and catalysts for the rest of the organization.
They empower IT admins to connect end users to the IT resources they need to generate more revenue, become more efficient, develop products faster, and more. This is why it’s important to have a discussion about the value of a cloud directory service, and why it might be the right tool for your IT organization.
What is the Value of Cloud Directory Services?
A cloud directory service enables organizations to move to the cloud securely and without losing control over their IT environment. This is because a cloud identity provider natively supports any IT resource, opening up the possibilities for how an organization can tackle its business goals. They are no longer constrained by the location, provider, protocol, or platform of an IT resource. As a result, organizations can use the digital tools that are best suited for the job, without negatively impacting their move to the cloud, security, efficiency, and costs. Let’s explore this value further by taking a look at each of these elements, and how a cloud directory service impacts them.
Moving to the Cloud
A cloud directory service enables organizations to completely eliminate their on-prem identity management infrastructure. A cloud directory service is capable of acting as the source of truth , so virtually all IT resources can look to the cloud identity provider for authentication and authorization. Furthermore, a cloud directory service natively supports Windows®, Mac®, and Linux® systems, cloud and local resources, a variety of providers and platforms, and a myriad of protocols like SAML, LDAP, Samba, RADIUS, SSH, and more. This next generation identity provider supports IT organizations with security and efficiency as they embark on moving to the cloud.
Security is significantly bolstered by using a cloud identity provider. Its flexible, open nature facilitates a centralized IT environment. In other words, IT admins can centrally manage all of their IT resources from one platform while empowering users with digital tools they actually want to use. This means IT admins will have less of a battle with shadow IT.
If employees are able to use the technology that makes the most sense for their work, they will be less tempted to use their own credit cards to purchase software.
In addition to helping IT admins fight shadow IT, a cloud directory service makes it easy to centrally employ identity security features like complex passwords, MFA, and SSH keys. Combined with the ability to enforce security policies, IT organizations can significantly lock down their environment.
By using a cloud directory service, bolstered security doesn’t have to mean a drop in productivity. In fact, IT admins and end users will actually experience productivity gains. Since a cloud identity provider can support all kinds of IT resources, IT admins can manage user access to all IT resources from one pane glass. They won’t have to navigate to a bunch of solutions in order to accomplish a single task. Also, about 20-50% of help desk tickets are password resets, taking up a good portion of an IT admin’s time. Well, a cloud directory service helps with this too by making it possible for users to self-serve password resets.
Imagine what IT staff could accomplish with 20-50% of their time back.
IT admins gain back more time in other ways too. For example, a cloud-based directory service does not burden an IT organization with on-prem hardware or software. So, IT admins don’t have to concern themselves with configuring, maintaining, and securing on-prem infrastructure because there is none, and the provider handles all of these tasks for the cloud instance.
Enough about the IT admin side of the coin, though. What about the end user? First, an independent directory service empowers organizations to give their users choice regarding what resources they can use, and this has a profound impact on a user’s productivity. Take systems for example: When given a choice, 72% of employees opt for a Mac system over a Windows system. When employees can use the system of their choice, 68% report an increase in productivity. Beyond the productivity gains that come with device choice, end users will waste less time troubleshooting password problems because they will be able to easily reset it on their own from their system. Also, a byproduct of using a directory service that supports all of an organization’s systems, apps, file storage, and networks, is that users gain one set of credentials to access it all. When a user only has to keep track of one password, they’re less likely to forget it, so they won’t have to reset it as often.
Lastly, another value of a cloud directory service is its impact on costs. For one price, a cloud directory service supports LDAP and SAML-based applications, system and user management, MFA, RADIUS-as-a-Service, productivity platform integrations, group management, policy management, and much more.
Another way cloud directory services impact costs is that organizations will spend less on paying IT admins to complete trivial tasks like resetting passwords.
The average password reset typically costs $70.
If organizations are able to reduce the number of support tickets related to this task with self-serve, that adds up to a decent amount of savings.
Another avenue by which cloud directory services help organizations reduce costs is by eliminating any on-prem hardware. This means organizations no longer have to budget to upgrade the hardware in the future, or factor in redundancy, data center costs, or other unnecessary items.
The cloud has provided a rich opportunity for organizations to move faster with greater innovation and creativity. However, any gains that come with going all cloud will be missed if organizations don’t recognize the value of cloud directory services. Without a cloud identity provider, organizations won’t be able to go all cloud, and they will end up with an environment that’s insecure and time-consuming to manage. If you are interested in empowering your organization with streamlined processes and fostering innovation by harnessing a cloud-based directory service, look no further.
Cloud Directory Services with JumpCloud
JumpCloud® Directory-as-a-Service® is Active Directory® and LDAP™ reimagined for the modern, cloud-forward era. With the power to connect users to virtually all of their IT resources, enhanced security and productivity abound when organizations leverage JumpCloud. Since JumpCloud is completely cloud-based, on-prem identity management hardware can be eliminated, helping IT organizations like yours gain back more time and money. For more details on the value of cloud directory services, consider reading one of the case studies from the carousel below. Each customer case study offers examples of how JumpCloud can help you scale, automate, and secure your IT environment. Interested in testing JumpCloud for yourself? Sign up for a free account. Your first ten users are free forever.