Whitepaper

The Future of IAM Lies in the Cloud and as a Service

IAM software and tools have traditionally been installed and run on-premises by the organization itself. In recent years, the growth in identities operating across cloud and digital services has seen vendors offering IAM solutions as a service to assist with this growing complexity and concomitant security challenge. This IDaaS market, with its ease of adoption and cloud-native integrations, is slowly overtaking the on-premises IAM market. But even while the flexibility, security and scalability of IDaaS makes sense for many businesses, a third option is becoming popular. This is IDaaS designed by a third-party integrator using best of breed identity components to build an IAM solution that is bespoke to operational and budgetary requirements and can also be operated by the integrator if the customer chooses.

Paul Fisher

pf@kuppingercole.com

Commissioned by iC Consult

1 Introduction

At its most fundamental, Identity and Access Management (IAM) software provides secure access to services, applications and data centres located across an organization. In modern digital organizations the identities of those seeking access can belong to users, customers, applications and IoT devices.

IAM software and tools have traditionally been installed and run on-premises by the organization itself. In recent years, the growth in identities operating across cloud and digital services has seen vendors offering IAM solutions as a service to assist with this growing complexity and concomitant security challenge. This IDaaS market, with its ease of adoption and cloud-native integrations, is slowly overtaking the on-premises IAM market.

Identity as a service (IDaaS) refers to services provided via the cloud or through SaaS (software-as-a-service) systems for identity and access management. It provides cloud-based authentication provided and managed on a subscription basis by third-party providers.

But even while the flexibility, security and scalability of IDaaS makes sense for many businesses, a third option is becoming popular. This is IDaaS designed by a third-party integrator using best of breed identity components to build an IAM solution that is bespoke to operational and budgetary requirements and can also be operated by the integrator if the customer chooses.

With IDaaS vendors slowly bridging the gap with traditional on-premises IAM software in terms of depth of functionalities, they now present a strong alternative for organizations to replace existing on-premises IAM deployments. The market is seeing different demands. There are those organizations that may be at the start of IAM journey and happy to subscribe to a fully managed service for all its identity management needs.

Then there are those, often larger, organizations, which have already invested in on-premises IAM platforms integrated with legacy IT but wish to add IDaaS for newer identity projects or replace legacy systems altogether. They will be looking for frictionless operation between the two. We will discuss these options and offer guidelines for choosing the right provider further in this Whitepaper.

Some identity vendors are already supporting pre-configured cloud based IDaaS services for Access Management, single sign-on, user provisioning, mobile identity, compliance, and both multi-factor and adaptive authentication.

Given the increased complexity of managing identities across multi-cloud infrastructures, on-premises, and remote locations it makes sense to outsource identity management for many tasks and users, leaving the choice of authentication protocols to IAM experts. The good news is that multiple options now exist for customers to manage identity more efficiently in the hybrid and mixed IT environments that proliferate today.


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