There’s no doubt that in terms of market approach, Microsoft®s strategy is to play the long game. They’ve done that with Windows®, Office, and Active Directory®, to name just a few solutions that have dominated their respective spaces. Throughout all of the changes in IT and shifts to the cloud, Microsoft’s goal remains to dominate the market. Of course, that domination can unfortunately translate into less choice and more lock-in for end users and customers. In this article, we’ll talk about why Azure® AD is lock-in for customers and MSPs.
The Net of Active Directory®
The story of Azure Active Directory (AAD) really begins with its sister solution, the on-prem, legacy Active Directory platform. From the get go, Microsoft was brilliant in their approach to locking up the market with Windows, Office, and their other solutions. Windows was already quite dominant in the space, so when they decided to tie all Windows solutions together with Active Directory, it was an incredibly smart move. By providing IT admins with the ability to centrally control user access to Windows resources, it made it easier to manage Windows platforms. That reinforced purchasing more Windows solutions, which subsequently reinforced the value of AD to manage it all.
Microsoft rode this dominance all the way to the bank with record profits and market share. But, the IT landscape was quietly changing underneath. The internet was sparking a new revolution of IT solutions. Web applications from Salesforce and others started to chip away at the usefulness of legacy on-prem solutions. Data centers started to be replaced by AWS®. Google® introduced G Suite™ (formerly Google Apps) to shift email and productivity applications to the cloud. Apple®’s resurgence pushed Macs® into the mainstream and made the browser far more important. WiFi then made it more productive to work with laptops that users loved because they were with them all day long. All of these changes created havoc for IT admins and disrupted the pristine Microsoft network.
Pulling the Net to the Cloud
*** This is a Security Bloggers Network syndicated blog from Blog – JumpCloud authored by George Lattimore. Read the original post at: https://jumpcloud.com/blog/why-azure-ad-is-lock-in/