Is a hosted identity cloud useful to IT organizations? Well, it mostly depends on what your organization needs. Many IT organizations are shifting from on-prem identity management infrastructure to cloud alternatives. Due to this, a hosted identity cloud—or SaaS identity management solution—can be very helpful.
The Identity Cloud Forms
To understand why an identity cloud can be helpful, we need to step back and understand the history of identity and access management (IAM). The modern era of identity management kicked off with the advent of the LDAP authentication protocol by our friend and advisor, Tim Howes, and his colleagues at the University of Michigan. By leveraging LDAP, IT admins could easily maintain and authorize their user base for their required resources from the amalgam of those that were available in the world of IT. Such resources included laptops/desktops, servers, applications, and file servers.
This subsequently led to the creation of Microsoft® Active Directory® (MAD or AD) and the open source directory services platform, OpenLDAP™. While both
were popular at the time, MAD would go on to become the on-prem IAM solution of choice. This was due to its tight integration with on-prem Windows® platforms, such as Exchange®, Office, and File Server®, which were among the industry standards at that point in time.
As we all know, however, the IT landscape started to change. Solutions such as web applications, cloud infrastructure, Mac® and Linux® systems, and WiFi, cropped up among the many new innovations that hit the market. The result was that traditional, legacy on-prem solutions, such as Active Directory, began to break down. To bolster their existing solutions, IT admins started to seek out add-on solutions, such as identity bridges, web application SSO platforms, privileged identity management solutions, and more. An organization’s identity management approach started to become more complex and costly.
The Winds of Change
IT innovation didn’t stop, of course, and the result was a new generation of cloud identity management solutions. These solutions were based on the concept of an identity cloud—a microservice in the cloud (Read more...)