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Identity Management and the Cloud: Not a simple transition


The cloud dominates today's technology conversations. It is the new paradigm for flexibility, scale and cost management. As these concepts mature, companies start favouring a hybrid approach for their technology strategies. Some systems are better suited to stay on-premises, while others are a natural fit for the cloud.


Then there are technologies where the choice to migrate might seem easy yet is instead full of ambiguity. Identity management is one such area - it may appear as a clear candidate for cloudification, but companies soon discover a more complicated situation.


"I often meet with companies that started a transition towards cloud identity management but then realise it's not a seamless process," says Paul Green, Principal Consultant at Performanta. "They expected a one-for-one transition. But identity management depends on a company's specific requirements and setup. Since identity integrates with many other systems, shifting to the cloud might not work out very well. It can - but it's a question of good design and not just picking the right products."

Good identity management design


Is the cloud a good choice for identity management? That depends on your environment and how different systems interact with each other. Green highlights several scenarios that impact these choices: