April 10, 2019
Cloud
ActiveDirectory
Next-Gen Access

Get Your Head Out of the Clouds. Embrace a Hybrid Approach to Identity.

Corey Williams – Idaptive
Corey Williams Vice President, Marketing
Get Your Head Out Of The Clouds

While Digital transformation is an imperative for enterprises, it can be a challenging headache for IT teams. To the chagrin of technology professionals, there’s simply not a one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to digital initiatives. If only it could be that easy!

In particular, moving to the cloud has proven to be a complex and tricky process for organizations not born as digital natives. Companies that have spent years (and millions of dollars) building legacy systems to use and store sensitive information often think they face a terrible choice when they want to modernize: either rip everything out and start again, or fall behind the competition in the innovation race.

We speak with companies every day who’ve found themselves stuck in this exact spot, paralyzed by their inability to modernize their tool kits. They want to switch to the latest and greatest tech, but can’t migrate everything into the cloud at the same time. Fortunately, it’s not one or the other, and there are ways for companies to bridge the gap between old and new.

One of the foundational components of a modernization strategy is Identity and Access Management. A challenge that many companies get stuck on is when they try to extend legacy Identity solutions to the cloud. Or worse, they adopt a parallel Identity solution that is cloud only.

It’s time to get your head out of the clouds and embrace a hybrid approach to identity.

Mo’ Data, Mo’ Problems  

Identity and access are, of course, critical components to businesses’ cybersecurity strategy, but also to the challenges an organization faces when confronted by the complexities of digital transformation. Identity and access can be both cumbersome for users and challenging for IT teams to manage today. Legacy identity systems like Active Directory have been popular with enterprises and remain firmly entrenched inside many organizations thanks to the vast volume of data (spanning years and sometimes even decades) that can’t simply be switched over to modern cloud approaches without tons of hassle.

While Active Directory has proven valuable for warehousing and fetching identity and access data over the years, it does not offer much on top of that, as it was never its intention! Today, this leaves companies with systems perceived by end users as overly complex — slowing them down and hindering their productivity — while also leaving the business itself vulnerable to the growing sophistication of today’s cyber attacks.

Bringing Together Old and New

So, what can be done when full cloud migration is not an option, but you need to make use of new innovations now? The answer is a hybrid cloud approach that balances the old with the new, strategically introducing new technology that plays well with those existing tools and investments.

The idea that every company needs to be “fully in the cloud” is non-starter. You do not need to forgo the security benefits offered  by next-gen solutions that include modern single sign-on (SSO), adaptive multi-factor authentication (MFA), endpoint and mobile context, and user behavior analytics (UBA), simply because you’re not 100 percent cloud.

Total migration to the cloud isn’t possible for every company today, and that’s okay. There are plenty of innovative organizations that are doing fantastic work and implementing the latest security measures by combining old systems with new technology (just ask many of our Idaptive customers).

While organizations should push themselves as far as they can to try new things, get out of their comfort zone, and innovate, change simply for the sake of change will not deliver results. Companies need to carefully measure what technology is available in order to develop a strategy that’s practical for marrying the “new” with their existing tools to improve the business.