IAM 101 Series: What Is Hybrid IAM?
Unite On-Prem, Cloud, and SaaS Environments With Hybrid IAM
Cloud identity and access management (IAM) is a fast-growing trend that is predicted to extend well into the future. For example, Verified Market Research alone projects that, by 2027, the market for cloud IAM will be more than $14 billion.
Yet, while the cloud-based IAM market is exploding, the reality is not all roses.
In our last IAM 101 post, What are Hybrid IT and Hybrid Cloud?, we discussed the differences, benefits, and disadvantages of hybrid IT and hybrid cloud. In this post, we’ll quickly recap these challenges as they pertain to IAM. We’ll then dive into how to solve them efficiently with hybrid IAM and wrap up with how to differentiate hybrid IAM against other solutions on the market.
Let’s get started.
IAM Challenges Within Hybrid IT and Hybrid Cloud Architectures
From an IAM perspective, the main challenges posed by hybrid IT and hybrid cloud architectures is that they typically consist of multiple separated environments and a combination of home-grown, legacy, and modern IAM systems. However, on-premises IAM systems don’t have the capabilities to meet cloud requirements, and cloud-based IAM systems don't have the capabilities required to adapt to on-premises business processes.
Disjointed on-premises and cloud-based IAM systems result in siloed and duplicated identities. This makes it difficult to identify and monitor high-risk user access enterprise-wide. And, unknown risk awareness can lead to potential data breaches, fines, and other financial consequences, as well as reputational damage. Additionally, multiple disjointed IAM systems can hinder the ability to provide seamless user experiences, innovate, and move at the speed of business.
On-premises IAM systems don’t have the capabilities to meet cloud requirements, and cloud-based IAM systems don't have the capabilities required to adapt to on-premises business processes.
What’s the solution? A single IAM platform capable of running, managing, and unifying digital identities across on-premises and cloud environments with hybrid IT. Introducing hybrid IAM.
Unite and Secure Hybrid IT Environments With Hybrid IAM
Eliminating identity silos and duplicates across hybrid IT and hybrid cloud environments is critical for security, as well as for positive user experiences. Hybrid IAM is an IAM platform capable of running, unifying, and securing all digital identities across hybrid IT and hybrid cloud architectures.
Hybrid IAM is an IAM platform capable of running, unifying, and securing all digital identities across hybrid IT and hybrid cloud architectures.
3 Benefits of Hybrid IAM
- Cost Savings: By having a single IAM platform that can run across hybrid IT and hybrid cloud architectures, you gain the flexibility to determine and control how much of your IAM infrastructure is on premises versus in the cloud at any given point. This means you can move to the cloud at your own pace without worrying about additional future IAM costs (such as migration and maintenance) or the impact it may have on user experience.
- Improved User Experiences: By unifying siloed identity information with a hybrid IAM platform, you can deliver a seamless and consistent user experience at any scale for any identity – no matter where the user (customer or employee) identity, service, or application is located within the hybrid IT architecture.
- Uncompromised Security: By adding user and device context to authentication, including the ability to continuously authorize every transaction across your enterprise, hybrid IAM enables you to quickly adopt Zero-Trust and CARTA (Continuous Adaptive Risk and Trust Assessment) strategies. Additionally, you can centralize identities to improve audit and compliance with full user lifecycle management.
How to Differentiate IAM Providers for Hybrid IAM
When evaluating the IAM market for solutions that will solve your hybrid IT and hybrid cloud environments, it’s critical to know how to differentiate the solutions being offered.
- Cloud-Only and Cloud-Native IAM Solutions: It’s important to note that cloud-only and cloud-native IAM solutions only run in the public cloud. This means that you’d have to move your IAM control plane to the cloud before you start realizing the value of this type of solution. Another key consideration is support for your many on-premises business-critical legacy applications and the business processes and customizations that rely on them. Unfortunately, cloud-only/cloud-native solutions leave you short in this category.
Cloud-only or cloud-native IAM solutions are not hybrid IAM. They only run in the public cloud and cannot support your business-critical applications on premises.
- Same IAM Vendor, Disparate Cloud and On-Premises Solutions: Some IAM providers claim that they have a hybrid offering. However their cloud and on-premises offerings are very different products. In order to cover your on-premises, cloud, and as-a-service environments, you would need to spend precious resources and time learning two or more products. You’d also have to run and maintain two different solutions, which can lead to less-than-ideal user experiences.
- Hybrid IAM Solutions: Hybrid IAM is a single IAM platform capable of running, unifying, and securing all digital identities across hybrid IT and hybrid cloud architectures. Hybrid IAM allows:
- Cohesive coexistence and complete freedom to transition to cloud without disruption.
- IAM modernization with no impact to business-critical on-premises applications.
- Flexibility and configurability to adapt to on-premises and cloud business processes.
Currently, there’s only one true hybrid IAM solution on the market. It’s made available through ForgeRock Identity Cloud, which includes our complete platform delivered as-a-service with the option to also self-manage as software and deploy anywhere. All of this is offered with a single subscription and simplified pricing model. The net-net? With Identity Cloud you’re able to cover all your on-premises, private, and public clouds, as well as as-a-service environments with one comprehensive solution.
For more information on hybrid IAM, watch the joint ForgeRock and Google Cloud webinar: Drive to Cloud with Hybrid IAM.
Also, stay tuned.
Next week, we will be releasing a commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting of over 300 IAM enterprise organizations on hybrid IT and hybrid IAM.