At the end of last year, PC Magazine published an article about the five collaboration trends to expect in 2016. The article stated that, “Distributed teams have more ways than ever to communicate and collaborate in real time, and 2016 is set to bring another wave of innovation around cloud-based connectivity, cross-platform integration, and next-generation multimedia conferencing.”
They were pretty accurate. Collaboration between employees and contractors — working from anywhere but the office – is more common every day. And, as the article predicted, “cloud-connected everything” (the #2 trend) and “seamless interoperability” (#4) are the name of the game.
But building a truly collaborative environment across a large organization doesn’t happen overnight. And it doesn’t happen without planning and thoughtful execution.
Shiseido is a perfect example of what’s going on with large, multinational organizations as they catch collaboration fever. Shiseido is one of the largest cosmetics companies in the world, with 30,000 employees and a presence in 120 countries. The company has R&D facilities in nine of those countries and manufacturing in 13. You can see how enabling cloud-based collaboration across distributed teams could benefit a company like Shiseido, and so did they.
To get started, the company decided to implement several cloud-based apps like online file sharing and content management services. But things aren’t always as easy as they look. Transitioning towards these cloud apps required a full-fledged transition into a hybrid infrastructure, and that meant reimagining everything from how employees access resources to how to they could effectively secure a combination of cloud-based and on-premises applications.
Before the implementation, the IT folks at Shiseido spent a good deal of time evaluating options that would make those apps available to their global employee base without forcing users to set up individual IDs and passwords for each app they accessed. The company’s environment at the time would have required just that. To ensure an app-ready, secure IT infrastructure, they would need to:
- Authenticate Japan-based users through Active Directory as well as users based outside of Japan, who were not in Active Directory
- Provide single sign-on (SSO) to cloud apps without having to go through a VPN
- Facilitate multiple Active Directories in the future, without the need for domain integration
Of course, I probably wouldn’t be telling you about the company if they hadn’t selected the Centrify Identity Service to address these challenges. Centrify Identity Service allows companies like Shiseido to authenticate users – both on site and remote – to apps in the cloud. And the App Gateway, a core component of the solution, enables simple, SSO access to on-premises apps for users outside the network – without the use of a VPN. Centrify Identity Service provided just the identity management infrastructure Shiseido needed to ignite its collaboration engine.
The truth is that, just like companies of all sizes benefit from the use of cloud-based collaborative apps, they all also face the same challenges in implementing them securely. As time passes and the benefits of the collaboration movement come to light, we’ll see more and more of it. Be sure your identity infrastructure is ready to embrace it.
See how SSO for Centrify Identity Service makes accessing cloud, mobile and on-premises apps easy here.