Does Your Company Need Directory Assistance?
CREDIT: Courtesy of Radiant Logic
Single sign-on is the holy grail for corporate IT. Unfortunately, having the power to give employees and other users of your corporate IT infrastructure the ability to sign on once with one set of credentials and have access to all the applications and information they need is only a pipe dream for many companies. Too many enterprises find themselves awash in a sea of disparate directories.
Those directories hold the keys to your company's data kingdom. These directories contain lists of the users' identities, groups, passwords and permissions that are necessary to access every place that data lives in your organization—from corporate system sign-on and email to legacy applications, databases and cloud-based applications and services like Salesforce and Sharepoint.
No two directories are alike, which can make navigating the corporate IT landscape a major chore in terms of identity authentication and authorization.
Each added degree of complexity in your business environment and in your IT infrastructure puts a greater strain on your costs and competitiveness. Cloud-based applications and services, which are increasingly becoming essential corporate resources, only worsen the problem.
The answer to this deluge of directories, identities and permissions can be a virtual directory, Dieter Schuller, VP of sales and development for Radiant Logic, a provider of virtualization solutions for identity integration and management, told IT Tech News Daily.
"Enterprises are being forced to open up their directory structure," Schuller said. "If you want to consume anything as a service, you need to open your existing identity infrastructure to the outside world."
A virtual directory gathers all of a company's directories together to provide a consolidated view of user identities without having to construct an entire directory infrastructure. It creates a complete identify service that supports single sign-on.
"A virtual directory takes the mess you have in the enterprise and cleans it up for one central point of authentication and authorization," Schuller said."It lets you manage globally and act locally."
It automates the process of creating and managing profiles and identities, provides an added level of security for sensitive authentication and authorization information and improves operational efficiencies while reducing the costs associated with manual sign-on and the use of multiple user credentials.
A virtual directory can also streamline the process and reduce the costs of deploying new applications and onboarding new users and credentials. One Radiant Logic customer said that using a virtual directory server let them complete the deployment of a Seibel customer relationship management application at one-tenth the cost of a custom installation and with a similar savings in time.
"You can usually get a virtual directory up in about a month," Schuller said. Virtual directory server pricing starts at $25,000.
Though the majority of Radiant Logic customers come from the ranks of the Fortune 5000, company size is not the most important criterion for deploying virtual directories, Schuller said. The compelling issue is the complexity of the corporate IT infrastructure and operating environment.
One Radiant Logic company has only 500 employees, but they manage the accreditation and testing for 500,000 users, Schuller said.
"If your initiatives are customer-facing," he said, a virtual directory may be an appropriate solution for directory overload.
Reach BusinessNewsDaily senior writer Ned Smith at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @nedbsmith.