Google’s been making some moves in the identity and access management space. Recently with their acquisition of Bitium, IT admins are wondering what their intentions are in the IAM space. Will it be Google IDaaS vs Okta for the web application single sign-on space?
Let’s step back and walk through how Google got to their identity management services strategy.
Identity Management began with LDAP
On the IAM side, the modern era of identity management started with the advent of LDAP. LDAP spawned two critical solutions: OpenLDAP™ and Microsoft Active Directory®. These solutions assumed that the IT infrastructure was on-prem and largely based on Microsoft Windows.
As web applications and cloud infrastructure were introduced, the core, on-prem identity provider started to struggle. Google introduced Google Apps to shift the email platform (Microsoft Exchange) to the cloud along with productivity applications. Now, IT admins had one foot in the cloud with G Suite and one on-prem with Active Directory.
So, while Google wasn’t about to be a replacement to Active Directory, they started providing user management services for G Suite, Google Cloud Platform, and a few, select web applications. In the meantime, Okta introduced the concept of first generation IDaaS or web application single sign-on. Okta would enable leveraging on-prem Active Directory credentials as well.
Is Google IDaaS a Comprehensive Alternative to Okta?
With the acquisition of Bitium, is Google IDaaS a comprehensive alternative to Okta? Yes and no. Bitium stands up as an alternative to Okta in the SSO space. But SSO with either Okta or Bitium ultimately falls short of providing the user with a single, unified set of credentials to gain access to all of their IT resources.
The root of this challenge is bigger than Okta vs. Google IDaaS and Bititum. At its core, the difficulty is still that Google Cloud Identity is not an alternative to Active Directory. Acquiring Bitium doesn’t change the fact that Google IDaaS doesn’t offer management for on-prem resources like systems and networks. Bitium’s main focus has been SSO for web-based applications, so they also lack the ability to fully manage (Read more...)