Azure Active Directory: One to rule them all
West Monroe Partners Performance Services team partners with organizations to help manage their infrastructure and organizational technology environment. For many organizations, Active Directory is central to operations, providing administration for user credentials and application access.
Cloudy with a chance of…
With the rise of the ‘cloud’, your organization probably uses a handful of third party apps. Common examples are Salesforce, Concur, and ServiceNow. However, using these hosted applications and the opportunity to free up internal resources reveals the other side of the coin; a new set of environmental administrative challenges. With disparate users and credentials, managing access is often performed on an app by app basis, leading to administrative headaches. Multiple accounts, generally poor documentation, and confusing and penetrable security are often the result.
Given this, wouldn’t it be great to manage access to your cloud apps with the same ease you are accustomed to for your internal accounts? Even better, what if this was possible by utilizing the exact same logins and passwords?
Fortunately, Microsoft has a tool that does just that. Enter, Windows Azure Active Directory. Windows Azure AD is a hosted implementation of Active Directory that can be leveraged for identity management of cloud applications. And the best part it, it’s free.
Windows Azure AD provides central identity management for Office 365, Azure, and over 2,500 SaaS applications. Azure AD can even be used to provide identity management to your own internally developed cloud applications. A full list of supported applications can be seen here.
This all sounds good, but HOW?
Azure AD Connect is a single tool that uses a structured process for configuring end-to-end identity setup in the cloud, including synching and sign-on to your on premise Active Directory instance. Choose your topology needs (for example, single or multiple directories, password sync, federation, etc.), and the tool will deploy and configure all components required to get your connection up and running including synchronization with ADFS.
Microsoft does offer a Premium service, which adds group support, improved reporting, a customizable portal and self-service password reset. For those organizations without in house expertise, this is a viable option.
The Performance Services team can help set up Azure Active Directory. If you’re interested in learning more about a single solution for managing access to your cloud services, contact us here.