Identity Management in the Cloud. Is Active Directory and Azure the Answer?

Lots of the buzz in the technology media and Blogosphere lately predicts that over 50% of all enterprise applications will reside outside of the enterprise environment–commonly referred to as “The Cloud”–in the next five years or so. I don’t want to debate what the exactly “The Cloud” means, but would rather focus on the reality that however you call it or define it, The Cloud is coming like a freight train and we need to prepare for the changes it’s bringing down the tracks.

As an ISV, we are focused on how we architect our current products to work with this cloud freight train. Since we are a .Net shop focusing on web-based Active Directory management solutions, most of our focus has been on Microsoft technologies and how we can leverage them in our solutions. As Microsoft ascends into the cloud more and more and other large players come into the space, how will you manage identities with cloud players like Amazon, Salesforce.com, Google Apps and so on?

So I ask you today, especially the administrators out there that have been to PDC or TechEd recently: Is Azure the platform that will enable effective, role-based identity management in the cloud? How will Azure play with Google Apps, Salesforce.com, NetSuite, or any other ERP, CRM or cloud-based productivity solution you use or will be using in the future? How will the Account Executive group you created in AD translate to privileges in Salesforce.com? Or the more important question, when that Account Executive leaves your organization, how will you offboard them and make sure they cannot access the cloud systems that are outside of your AD domain?

I would like to hear some commentary on this. Your business leaders have put the freight train on the tracks and it is heading your way. How will you be prepared from an identity management perspective? Is Azure the answer or part of the problem?

For more information about Web Active Directory and our Active Directory management solutions, check things out at www.webactivedirectory.com or call us at +1-800-747-3565.

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