By Ryan Squires Posted December 12, 2019
Is it time for you to rethink Active Directory® (AD)? Given how embedded AD is in organizations, that might sound like a crazy statement. In fact, many IT admins might not think it is possible to replace AD. The fact is, AD is replaceable. And doing so causes you to do more than rethink AD and instead rethink your entire identity and access management (IAM) strategy.
Directory Services: Forgotten Amid Cloud Innovations
Because directory services serve as the bedrock of most IT environments, it is puzzling that innovations in the space remain slow moving. Innovations shine in several areas of the IAM arena from web application single sign-on (SSO), multi factor authentication (MFA), privileged identity management, governance, and others. But sluggishness in the directory services area remains troubling for organizations looking to move to the cloud.
You can chalk this up to the fact that AD has for almost 20 years existed as an assumed necessity for any IT environment. Microsoft did well to position it that way. As a result, the innovations listed above recognize that AD lies at the core of an organizations’ IAM infrastructure. Thus, to extend the capabilities of AD to cloud infrastructure, AD served as the foundation on which to build. This situation created increased complexity.
The truth is, once-new tools like cloud infrastructure from AWS®, web applications, macOS® and Linux® systems, WiFi, mobile, and more have become essential pieces of each IT environment. These are not passing fads. According to TechRepublic’s 2020 IT Budget Research Report, 45% of respondents replied that cloud services “remain top IT budget priorities.” Of course, integrating each one with AD is both complex and costly. This reality has caused IT admins to ask some straightforward yet profound questions like:
- If the majority of my infrastructure is shifting to the cloud, why is an on-prem AD infrastructure at the core of my IAM strategy?
- With more non-Windows systems in my environment, why am I forced to find workarounds to accommodate the growing number (Read more...)