Google recently introduced Google Cloud Identity. It is a self-proclaimed Identity-as-a-Service platform. But what does that term really? Given all of the confusion in the identity management market, it’s important to understand the actual features and functionality at play. So what is Google Cloud Identity, really? Is it a directory service, web application SSO platform, identity bridge, or other?
In order to understand what Google Cloud Identity is, we need to be able to answer that question – along with understanding Google’s long-term goals in the cloud.
Google’s Strategy in the Cloud
Google is highly interested in attacking Microsoft® Azure® with its cloud infrastructure services. For years they have been building up G Suite to slow down the runaway train that is Office 365. Now, Google is betting that their Cloud Platform can take on Azure.
Google’s strategy against Microsoft is not recent news though. Google has been challenging Microsoft since the mid 2000’s, and has led the path in loosening Microsoft’s grip on the enterprise market. Major changes in the IT landscape only assisted Google as users started to chose Mac and Linux over Windows systems, web-based applications in addition to Microsoft Office, and IT opted for cloud infrastructure over having it on-prem.
At first, Microsoft resisted integrating these new resources with Active Directory, but then they came up with a new strategy – Azure and Azure Active Directory. It should be noted that Azure AD is not a replacement for Active Directory. The two solutions work together to create on-prem and cloud identities that are in sync and can be used to access on-prem Windows solutions as well as Azure cloud services.
Google knows that trying to disrupt Active Directory® is not in the cards for them and they don’t believe that they need to. They believe that they can bridge Active Directory credentials to Google Cloud Identity rather than have IT organizations move to Azure.
Google’s End Game with Google Cloud Identity
By bridging Active Directory credentials with Google Cloud Identity, users would only need to have one identity across all Google services including G Suite and (Read more...)