JumpCloud Extends Directory Reach to Google Apps
One of the things that IT organizations routinely wrestle with when it comes to cloud computing is managing access to the applications. In an on-premise world dominated by Microsoft, most IT organizations rely on Microsoft Active Directory (AD) to keep some semblance of control over who is accessing what application or particular file.
In the age of the cloud, however, there is no dominant provider of directory services to make it simpler for IT organizations to centrally manage who gets access to what application. Each application environment has to be separately managed.
To address that issue Microsoft pushed AD service into the Microsoft Azure cloud, while Amazon Web Services created the Amazon Directory Service (ADS) for applications running on the AWS cloud. But those approaches don’t do much for IT organizations that have major investments in AD running on premise that they want to extend to applications that don’t run on the Microsoft Azure or AWS cloud.
To tackle that problem JumpCloud created a directory in the cloud that is compatible with both Microsoft AD and the Lightweight Directory Access Protocol. Now JumpCloud has extended the reach of that service directly to the application programming interfaces (APIs) surrounding Google Apps, which are now being used by some five million organizations.
Leveraging Active Directory workflow development work in the cloud
JumpCloud CEO Rajat Bhargava said this deeper level of integration is the first in a series that JumpCloud plans to tie its directory as a service to the APIs that most providers of cloud applications now routinely expose. What that means for IT organizations is that the workflow processes for managing access that they have developed around Microsoft AD running on premise can be extended more easily to software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications in the cloud.
Like it or not most organizations are more dependent on SaaS applications than ever. But each new one that gets added to the cloud application firmament winds the bigger the IT management becomes. Of course, many of those SaaS applications are replacing existing on premise applications. But by and large most cloud applications and on premise applications will be running side by side in the enterprise for a very long time to come.
While security is often listed as the number one reason most organizations don’t embrace the cloud more aggressively, compatibility with Microsoft AD is one of the root causes of those security concerns. As such, solution providers looking to bring more cloud applications into the enterprise just might want to figure out how to overcome that AD objection first.