The modern identity management space can be confusing. With a wide array of identity management solutions available from a variety of different vendors, it can be difficult to make sense of it all. It doesn’t help that there are so many acronyms in use today such as IAM, IdP, IDaaS, SaaS, PIM, PAM, MFA, 2FA, and many more to describe similar but distinct identity management concepts. For that reason, this blog post will analyze IAM vs IDaaS in an attempt to bring some clarity to the market.
What is IAM?
Identity and Access Management (IAM) refers to the overall category of identity management solutions that are used to manage digital user identities and access to various IT resources. The IAM space is a broad category that includes the core identity provider (IdP), also known as directory services, as well as many subcategories such as directory extensions, web application single sign-on (SSO/IDaaS), privileged identity/access management (PIM/PAM), two-factor authentication (2FA/MFA), and more.
Essentially, IAM solutions are in the business of securely managing and connecting users to the IT resources they need to Make Work Happen™. The challenge for IT organizations is finding the best IAM solution to meet their specific requirements. And with such a huge variety of IAM solutions currently available, this is often easier said than done.
Managing user identities and access to IT resources wasn’t always so complex, though. IT networks were once entirely on-prem, and effectively revolved around the Microsoft Windows® operating system (OS). The Microsoft dominated landscape enabled IT admins to leverage Microsoft’s traditional IAM platform, called Active Directory® (AD), to manage user identities and their access to Windows-based IT resources. In other words, AD was basically the only IAM solution required—at the time.
However, the IT landscape started to change around the turn of the century as a variety of new innovations came to market. Web applications such as Salesforce® and Google Apps (now called G Suite™) were at the tip of the spear. Solutions such as these offered significant advantages over their legacy counterparts such as decreasing cost while (Read more...)