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Why it’s Time to Cut Ties with Your Legacy Directory

It’s almost impossible in today’s complex IT world to imagine a company that hasn’t grown by acquisition. In the highly regulated oil and gas industry, for one, it’s even more common to grow in a piecemeal fashion, pivoting and acquiring as needed to stay relevant and compliant. The downside to this growth strategy is the chaos behind the scenes. It’s best if you don’t look behind the curtain—you might become a little disenchanted by what you find. If you’ve come across Radiant before, you know we’re all about that one perfect unified identity data source to power your identity projects, but that doesn’t come together easily following a merger and/or acquisition.

An acquisition-based growth strategy usually means legacy IT solutions, held together by duct tape and a prayer, disconnected identity data, sky-high maintenance costs, and frustrated resources who are held back from delivering higher value contributions by sub-par tools. So instead of an all knowing and all powerful source of identity truth, you’ll likely find a tired, frantic IAM team pulling all kinds of levers to make things work.

A Gas and Oil Leader Gets Stuck in the Pits

In the case of one North American energy producer, they had to stand up competing overlapping architecture and infrastructure services to accommodate tactical business needs—band-aid solutions that took up time they would rather have used for more strategic, forward-looking projects. That meant more complexity, more overhead, a larger footprint infrastructure-wise, more complicated processes and little fiefdoms where every business unit had their own infrastructures. Their identity sprawl was getting seriously out of hand and budget—all the while still causing serious risk to the organization.

After years of growth by M&A, and feeling the pressures of market volatility—needing to improve revenue without an increase in staffing budget—they were left maintaining a very complex, very expensive identity system, based on end-of-life LDAP directories from Novell and Oracle, resulting in “punishing” and “ridiculous” bills for support. Maintaining duplicate identity information was a pain to maintain as well as frustrating to end users. It wasn’t just expensive—gaps and inconsistencies increased security risk and added drag to the team’s ability to respond to business requests—effectively lessening their agility as a company.

Trapped in the Past: Legacy Directories Require Paying a Lot for a Little

However, due the critical nature of these identity sources, many companies have felt like they have no choice to continue to prop up these legacy technologies—after all, when your identity infrastructure looks like a Jenga tower, you don’t want to pull out the wrong block and take down hundreds of dependent applications with it.

To add insult to injury, these aging directories don’t offer modern directory capabilities, like supporting REST or cloud deployments. However, many companies put up with this just to avoid the hassle and risk associated with directory migration—the possible downtime, the uphill budget battles, the time spent recreating synchronization and provisioning flows. So they keep you paying those maintenance fees, because it’s easy to go with what’s (sort of) working and maintain the status quo.

Benefits of a Flexible, Modern, Cloud-Ready Directory 

It doesn’t have to be this way, and here’s where a modern identity platform—like RadiantOne—can make a world of difference:

An extensible, standards-based directory yields a future-proof storage solution, supports the hybrid reality most large organizations find themselves in, and accelerates crucial-to-the-business IAM initiatives like SSO, self-service, improving user experience—all while reducing costs and risk.

Investing in an identity platform with more than just a directory delivers much more bang for your buck than following the expensive upgrade path set forth by your legacy vendor. Radiant Logic continues to evolve our directory offering to keep pace with our customer’s requirements for scalability, flexibility, and performance.

And, there’s no risk: we provide the solution to ensure a truly seamless migration, with no impact to applications. With our Directory Migration module designed just for this use case, you can flip a switch and have a future proof directory (the RadiantOne Universal Directory) supporting these services. With our super scalable, quick to integrate, easily-designed Universal Directory, you may even be able to replace multiple directories with just one, as our energy producer customer did.

Gas and Oil Leader Finds the Solution: No Pain, All Gain

Back to our energy producer, the time to “right size” the environment finally came and they were able to level up to RadiantOne to get ahead of the grind. After years of point solutions as stop gap measures, they now had a WorkDay provisioning project that required a cloud-ready directory that pushed the replacement project forward—RadiantOne allowed them to significantly streamline the onboarding process for that new application—then they leveraged the solution for much more.

“It helped us with sunsetting and facilitated the migration from an end-of-life/support Oracle LDAP store to a centralized, unified Radiant view as well as replacing three additional Novell eDirectory LDAP stores with built for purpose business use, hosted by Radiant Logic, centralized and unified within a single platform, as opposed to having to spin up multiple platforms. It allowed us to rapidly ingest the changing landscape and adjust to change.”

They not only found a solution to decommission their legacy directory infrastructure, but also a simpler, consolidated identity data platform they could re-use to power all their identity projects and secure their critical identity assets. This enabled a major uptick in labor gains, allowing them to deploy their best personnel resources to new projects, while massively reducing risk and complexity.

Want to learn more about how Radiant Logic can help modernize your directory infrastructure to accelerate your business agility? Contact us or watch our webinar for more information.

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