Commissioned by iC Consult
In the digital era, the most significant trend is towards the provision and consumption of all IT as cloud-based services, including Identity and Access Management (IAM). As a growing number of workloads and IT services move to the cloud, it makes sense to move IAM to the cloud as well. Moving IAM to the cloud helps avoid the integration, management, and licensing complexity of hybrid IT environments where some workloads run on premise while others run in parallel in the cloud.
However, cloud-based IAM services will still need to support hybrid IT environments for the foreseeable future and at the same time will need to evolve to include support not only for employees, but also for business partners, customers, consumers and non-human entities that have identities that need to be managed, such as internet-connected devices that make up the Internet of Things (IoT).
Although a number of IDaaS (Identity as a Service) solutions have appeared on the market in recent years in line with the as-a-service trend, most of these have focused on some aspect of IAM, such as supporting Single Sign-On (SSO) or adaptive authentication schemes. However, IAM is about much more than just authenticating a user.
In addition to authentication, IAM is about managing identities and the entitlements attached to those identities as well as authorizing access. IDaaS solutions that do not cover all key aspects of IAM lack the depth that is required by modern enterprises to reduce security and compliance risk.
The shift of business workloads to the cloud, however, is a long-term journey for most businesses. Similarly, the shift from on-premises IAM to IDaaS solutions, while at the same time delivering comprehensive support for IAM capabilities across all target systems, regardless of their deployment model, is also a multi-step journey.
Running comprehensive IAM capabilities as a managed service is one of the viable options open to companies on that journey to a more modern IT environment because it caters for the IT reality, which will be hybrid for most companies in the short to medium term, while enabling a gradual transition to a future IT environment provided entirely by cloud-based services. In the interim, comprehensive managed IAM solutions also enable a high degree of customization that is typically required by multinational companies, while still being run as a service.
We recommend that manufacturers and other multinational companies consider switching their Identity and Access Management to a managed IAM service provider that enables them to meet the challenges of fulfilling organization-specific requirements, supporting complex hybrid environments, operating IAM infrastructures in global environments, and allowing for a gradual step towards an easy-to-manage IAM, without any trade-off in depth and breadth of capabilities.
iC Consult subsidiary, Service Layers, headquartered in Germany with offices in Switzerland, Austria, Spain, UK, US and China, is one of the few players in the IDaaS market that provides scalable and custom managed IAM services with global support and based on market-leading IAM products