Microsoft® Active Directory® (AD) has been a mainstay in identity management infrastructure for almost two decades. Whether you’ve been in the IT industry for a while or are just starting out, you may have recently wondered at one point or another, “Why do I need AD?” Whether you’re asking this to figure out why you need a directory service or questioning if AD is still the best option these days, we’ve got the answers you’ve been looking for. Let’s start by taking a look at why a directory service matters.
The Value of Directory Services
Definition of a Directory Service
Before we can understand the benefit of having a directory service, let’s make sure we all have the same definition in mind. A directory service is a database of user information, such as usernames, passwords, department info, etc. On top of providing one place where you can store this information, a directory service also keeps track of what systems, applications, file storage, and networks a user has the right to access and how they should authenticate to those resources. This setup enables you to make a change to a user, like suspending an account or changing a password, and have that change carry across all of the user’s IT resources. So what would the life of an IT admin and their end users look like without this technology in place?
The Reality of Not Having a Directory Service
Not having a directory service in place means you are stuck with a manual approach to managing your IT environment. This impacts security, productivity, and costs. Here’s how:
- You have to trust end users to follow security best practices, instead of knowing they are.
- You won’t have 100% certainty that an ex-employee truly has zero access to company data.
- User management tasks end up taking hours of your work week.
- A single end users can waste up to 30 minutes each month just on typing out all of their credentials; consequently, significant labor costs are spent on users just typing in their credentials,
- Significant labor costs are also (Read more...)