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The Risk of Microsoft Owning Your Identity

Microsoft® Active Directory® (AD) was designed to function as the center of an IT admin’s world. It gave IT teams a way to securely connect users to all on-prem resources (such as systems, applications, and networks) they needed.

However, today’s corporate environment favors cloud-based, cross-platform IT infrastructure for its convenience and increased security over on-prem hardware. As a result, IT admins are realizing that, while using a legacy directory service may be familiar, there’s a risk of Microsoft owning your identity. 

Moving Beyond the Microsoft-Centric IT Environment

Active Directory still exists today as a vital tool for managing identities, Windows® systems, and on-prem applications. Be that as it may, today’s organizations utilize a variety of resources outside the scope of Microsoft’s domain.

Most IT organizations now implement a mixed-platform environment, including systems like macOS® and Linux®. In addition, Active Directory doesn’t natively authenticate users to web-based applications like Salesforce®, G Suite™, and Slack®.

For many, keeping AD as their proprietary directory service may seem like the wisest choice. Its complicated interface is something many IT teams have grown accustomed to, so moving away from AD seems like an insurmountable undertaking. However, organizations ingrained within AD’s legacy infrastructure are limited in the resources they can manage natively, and the resources they can’t come with increased maintenance and costs without a seamless way to control access.


The trouble for most IT teams still comes down to authentication beyond Windows-bound applications. Years have passed since the introduction of cloud-based productivity suites like G Suite, and admins are still struggling to find the most effective way to manage user authentication to web-based applications while also maintaining a functional directory service.

IT admins oftentimes troubleshoot this issue by layering third-party SSO solutions to authenticate credentials to web apps. This layered method comes with increased costs, as admins have to pay for both Active Directory and the third-party add-on.

Cross-Platform Operating Systems

Much in the same sentiment as applications, Microsoft designed Active Directory to only authenticate users to their Windows-based, on-prem systems.

As such, organizations functioning (Read more…)

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