Identity + the Cloud — Gartner Weighs In

As if the core IT trends around SaaS apps, mobility and security weren’t moving along fast enough for IT teams to catch their breath, here comes Gartner’s first Magic Quadrant on Identity and Access Management as a Service — aka taking identity and putting it in the cloud to support cloud-based apps, along with mobile apps and devices.

The market is certainly moving at a fast pace — Gartner estimates that by the end of 2017, Identity-as-a-Service (IDaaS, aka “cloud identity”) offerings will make up 20% of all IAM purchases, which is more than double the 2014 share of <10%.  Doubling market adoption in 3.5 years … not a bad pace!  Other research firms pen similar numbers — we’ve seen forecasts of IDaaS becoming 25% of the IAM market around the same 2017 timeframe.

So what does Gartner’s brand new Magic Quadrant for Identity and Access Management as a Service say about Centrify?  In short, it says we’re a VISIONARY in this emerging market.   And we are proud!  Being at the top border of the VISIONARY quadrant after year one of being in the IDaaS market is a very strong accomplishment.  Other leading security and data center companies like Zscaler and Netscaler (my alma mater) were VISIONARIES in their first year, and then LEADERS for several years thereafter.

Net-net, after relatively recently entering the cloud identity market, we are already considered one of its top vendors. And the cool thing is we are not just a one-trick pony, and are already a leader in other areas of identity, such as Privileged Identity Management.

Let’s look at the results a little more closely.  One of the main Strengths highlighted in the Magic Quadrant was that our enterprise mobility management features were unique in the industry (and noted to include many of the same features as standalone enterprise mobility management vendors).  In short — why pay for enterprise mobility management (aka “mobile device management”) when you can get it for free with your IDaaS offering, and have it fully integrated?

Also called out (in multiple sections of the report) is that Centrify User Suite (our IDaaS offering) can be configured to keep some or all identity data on-premises in Active Directory — and not replicate it to the cloud — depending on your choice of scenario and end user types.  Gartner notes that their clients are right to express concern with IDaaS around possible data security issues and protecting enterprise users’ passwords.  But they also note that a few vendors — Centrify being among them — require no user information to be stored in the cloud, and that all data needed to provision users to SaaS apps can be gained from bridging to an on-premises directory (like Microsoft Active Directory, which mass majority of enterprises use).  In other words, with Centrify you can “put your identity data where you want it.”

How about Cautions (we have to be honest, after all)?  The top one mentioned for Centrify was around the number of SaaS apps that are supported for user provisioning (when the survey was issued in late 2013).  On this point, we fully agreed with Gartner.  We listened, and we acted.  And have introduced a new version of Centrify User Suite with automated provisioning for a number of key SaaS apps including Google Apps for Business, Salesforce and others — extending our previous provisioning support for Office 365, and clearly addressing one of the Cautions noted against our solution.  We see the market is moving fast, and Centrify is working hard to move even faster…

Where to go from here?  From Centrify, look for continued growth in app support, more hybrid identity innovation, and broad adoption of the mobility management integrated in our IDaaS offerings.

You’re welcome to take a look for yourself at our IDaaS offering — Centrify User Suite (click here for a free trial version) — and experience the power of a combined mobile management and cloud identity offering.

As the IDaaS market continues to grow through mainstream user adoption, we look forward to seeing how Gartner captures the market a year from now.