With more and more IT admins shifting their IT infrastructure to the cloud, many are wondering, “Why is Active Directory® (AD) so important to my organization?” In fact, many are questioning why they need Active Directory on-prem at all when they are shifting to new systems, cloud infrastructure, and a whole slew of non-Windows®/ Microsoft® resources. In this blog post we’ll examine why an identity provider, not necessarily Active Directory, is so crucial.
Identity and User Access
First, while the question of why AD is so imperative to an organization is an important one to answer, we should really broaden the conversation to a question about why controlling identities and user access is so essential for an organization. This field of IT is called identity and access management (IAM). Strong IAM allows IT admins to control who can and can’t access a given IT resource. A robust directory service should allow you to quickly provision and deprovision user access to resources. It should also enable you to group users so each can access specific applications, files, and networks. This sort of power is what makes a directory so important.
Active Directory: Dominance by Design
Of course, Active Directory has become synonymous with identity and access management stemming from Microsoft’s historical dominance in the IAM space. Microsoft’s leadership in the on-prem identity space isn’t all that surprising because the computing platform most commonly used in the late ‘90s until now has been Microsoft Windows. So, Microsoft was smart to create a Windows-based directory (AD) to manage the Windows systems where computing was happening at the time. That marriage made Microsoft the preeminent player in directory services for nearly two decades now. But, with the emergence of non-Windows resources, AD has struggled to enable access to them.
Active Directory: A Design Left in the Past
As we know, the only constant is change. The IT landscape started to shift and morph to become more cloud-based and less Windows-centric. This shift has made a significant number of IT admins wonder why Active Directory is so important in the (Read more...)
*** This is a Security Bloggers Network syndicated blog from Blog – JumpCloud authored by Ryan Squires. Read the original post at: https://jumpcloud.com/blog/is-active-directory-so-important/