G Suite® is the most widely used SaaS product (Blissfully). As IT organizations look to expand their use of G Suite and other services, one area of interest is Google IdP (identity provider). Google has created successful alternatives for Microsoft® Exchange, Windows® File Server, and Office. Is Google creating another alternative to a Microsoft solution with Google IdP? Specifically, many IT admins are wondering about Google IdP and Windows user management. Can Google’s identity and system management capabilities replace Microsoft Active Directory®?
It is expected that 50% of IT environments leveraging G Suite are going to run 100% in the cloud by 2020 (BetterCloud). So, it makes sense that IT has started looking for a cloud alternative to Active Directory, the leading on-prem identity provider. However, let’s take a closer look at Google IdP and Windows user management. Doing so will make it clear why Google IdP isn’t the solution IT admins are looking for.
A Look at Google’s Strategy
As IT organizations started to think about shifting to the cloud, G Suite (formerly Google Apps) was one of the first solutions to be considered. G Suite has already eliminated a wide array of on-prem Microsoft technology (e.g. Exchange, Office 365™), but Active Directory wasn’t one of those on-prem resources that Google was looking to replace. Google knew that AD was firmly entrenched, and as a result they decided not to take an approach to identity services that competed with Active Directory.
Today, the IT landscape is much more cloud-forward than it was even six years ago when Google Drive surfaced. For example, the average spending for SaaS products per company has quadrupled since 2015 (Blissfully). SaaS products aren’t the only resource transforming the office, though. Today, the IT landscape has shifted to cloud servers at GCP and AWS, Mac and Linux devices are replacing Windows systems, and employees aren’t always working in an actual office. With all of these changes, is Google reconsidering and pitting their Google IdP to compete with Active Directory? The short answer is no.
*** This is a Security Bloggers Network syndicated blog from JumpCloud authored by Natalie Bluhm. Read the original post at: https://jumpcloud.com/blog/google-idp-windows-user-management/