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Going Cloud or Hybrid? You Need an Identity Data Fabric

It’s no secret that a company’s digital transformation requires the move of some (or many!) operations to the cloud. And lots of organizations have had such a move on their to-do list for some time. With so many benefits to going “cloud-first”, why all the hesitancy?

Making the move to the cloud is easier said than done for enterprise-level companies who depend on legacy and on-prem systems to get work done. To add to the complexity, these companies often plan to take advantage of several different cloud-based services too—and if they’re not currently, they will be.

These organizations often get stuck in a hybrid cloud environment for some time—and they’ll likely remain hybrid forever. Critical services remain heavily reliant on legacy and on-prem infrastructure. Unfortunately, these environments are heavy in silos that don’t integrate easily with each other, the cloud, or modern identity access management (IAM) systems and security approaches.

Successfully migrating and maintaining a complex environment in and across the cloud (AWS, Azure, and/or Google cloud platforms) requires a layer of abstraction to sit between the sources of identity data and the IDaaS (Identity-as-a-Service) solution of your choice. Implementing a strategic identity architecture is the right step forward for cloud success.

Common IAM Challenges of Moving to Hybrid & Cloud Environments

In many cases, a company’s identity isn’t prepared for hybrid or cloud environments. Hybrid IT is much more complex when it comes to identity data integration. This presents many challenges when trying to migrate key applications into the cloud.

For example, identity attributes may be scattered across disparate systems, resulting in data silos. And these silos, coupled with data diversity, make it impossible for companies to see a clear picture of their user base, often resulting in serious security risks and compliance difficulties.

Another key challenge, especially in today’s work-from-home environment, is managing access across a growing number of devices. As new devices are used to access company applications and resources, security becomes increasingly important. Yet, silos make it nearly impossible to manage access at a granular level.

If your legacy data can’t be integrated with modern security protocols or if inconsistency in access policy exists across applications, you end up expanding your attack surface by introducing the cloud. As a result, there will be additional accounts that must be maintained and more entry points to secure.

Flexibility and scalability in identity data integration are more important than ever. Current IDaaS integration tools such as those from Microsoft and Okta are limited in scope. Finding a flexible, scalable, reliable, and cloud-ready identity data integration platform is paramount.

The Solution: An Identity Data Fabric 

When identity data is sprawled across multiple on-prem and in-cloud repositories, a robust approach to relaying and using this information is exceedingly important. That solution is an Identity Data Fabric.

The Identity Data Fabric enables the abstraction of identity operations, making it easier for developers to secure and identity-enable their applications—without the need to understand the underlying identity infrastructure.

With access to identity data delegated to a specialized layer like the Identity Data Fabric, applications can meet operational needs such as authentication and authorization, while also protecting sensitive identity information.

Identity Data Fabric: The Foundation of a Strategic Identity Architecture

Preparing for a cloud migration requires data integration, normalization, and transformation. Any organization looking to migrate can turn to the TechVision Research reference architecture. According to TechVision, an identity data service is a critical component for any identity architecture:

“Identity should ultimately be a ‘utility’: it should be easy to identify individuals, applications and things and provide access under proper security controls that are privacy centric.”

Learn more about IAM architecture by downloading the TechVision Research paper, Architecting and Managing Hybrid and Cloud-Based Identity Services.

Going Further: Implementing an Identity Data Fabric

The RadiantOne Intelligent Identity Data Platform helps you create a flexible Identity Data Fabric. RadiantOne is a powerful platform that spans all sources (cloud-based or on-prem) and delivers identity however it’s required to facilitate secure access, efficient operations, and enhanced user experience.

The TechVision report says it best:

“Their solution is an intelligent identity data platform that acts as a broker between applications and identity stores that does not rely on simple replication or traditional batch synchronization. Instead, the platform virtualizes data silos to build a unified version of identity. A persistent data cache with automatic, event-driven refresh enables speed, scalability, and integrity in environments with high volume, data distribution and complexity.”

RadiantOne offers a modern directory for on-prem and cloud deployment, synchronizing to and from on-prem and cloud-based identity sources. It’s a universal connector, ensuring you’re never locked into one provider and helping you maintain control over your identity data.

A hybrid environment offers many benefits, including enabling you to take advantage of the cloud while maintaining your critical legacy environments. Taking stock of your identity resources ensures you can move forward in the current hybrid reality with confidence and success.

Learn More About Identity Architecture With Radiant Logic

You can learn more about developing and managing hybrid and cloud-based identity architectures by checking out our webinar, How to Thrive in a Hybrid World: Managing Identities for the Here and Now. Have questions? Please reach out to our team today; we’re here to help.

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