“Cloud Native” identity management is the solution to increasingly complex cloud architectures

An okta is a meteorological measurement to determine the amount of cloud cover from a given vantage point. Zero indicates a totally clear sky and nine oktas means the sky is completely concealed behind a wall of clouds. In our digital landscape this metric increases every day and already extends well beyond a 0-9 scale. In fact, according Vanson Bourne’s 2015 market research, 78% of UK cloud users already utilise two or more cloud services and 70% to expand their current services within the next year — that’s a lot of oktas.

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As cloud subscriptions to customer relationship management (CRM), disaster recovery, data storage, email and collaboration platforms account for ever-increasing amounts of our daily work, companies are often forced to dedicate costly resources solely to keeping cloud logins and deployments up to date. Two colleagues from cloud CRM platform Salesforce saw this as an opportunity and left the company to update the word okta for our 21st century clouds.

Simplifying cloud identities

The goal of their company, Okta, was to create “Cloud Native” identities for staff of companies whose work took place in predominantly Software-as-a-Service environments. Instead of juggling a dozen different cloud platform usernames and passwords, Okta grants companies a password-protected website that presents employees with a dashboard where all the company’s current cloud platforms are consolidated in one place.

Whenever companies add, delete, or modify a user’s credentials, the only necessary step is for that information to be entered into their cloud-based Okta dashboard. From there, Okta will telegraph the data to each individual cloud provider on behalf of the account holder. Put simply, companies can manage a user’s account information for multiple online services in one interface.

On a broader scale, this means any time a business adds or removes a service, Okta’s platform automatically updates every employee’s dashboard without the interruption of account creation. If management signs up for Office 365 on Sunday, employees will see it on their dashboard first thing Monday morning. Although useful, Okta’s offerings don’t stop there.
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User management

Provisioning services allow administrators to centralise privilege and account management company-wide so there’s never any dangerous overlap of access rights. These services include creating individual or group privilege settings to limit which devices users can use to log in, clarify which multifactor authentication systems should be required, and restrict access to certain cloud services depending on the user.

At first glance, the service’s most valuable selling point might seem to be the simplicity afforded to users. But even without its multi-faceted security protocols, Okta enables you to protect your cloud-based data by giving you a tighter grip on employee cloud accounts. Administrators can ensure that user passwords are strong enough, and diverse enough to prevent unauthorised access.

Top-priority security

Okta achieves SOC 2, HIPAA, and ISO 27018/27001 compliance by employing a number of methodologies such as adaptive multi-factor authentication and 100% uptime to deliver its services to clients via 4,000 connected cloud-based applications. Regardless of whether or not you’re in a regulated industry, security is one of the foundational elements of the Okta business model.

In fact, Okta is so secure and reliable that Google elevated the company to the unprecedented title of Preferred Partner for the G Suite (formerly Google Apps for Work). And perhaps even more relevant to our clients, Okta and Google are working together to equip global systems integrators, Google resellers and independent software vendors with training and tools to accelerate the move to the cloud — meaning migrations are quicker than ever before.

Gartner Inc. has an annual report for rating Identity and Access Management as a Service (IDaaS) providers. For 2016, Okta was named one of just three leaders in the industry and was the highest scored vendor in the ‘Ability to Execute’ category. To bring the Okta service to your office, all you need to do is get in touch with us. We’ll set everything up, and with minimal onboarding your employees will have one URL and login to access all your cloud services as well as limitless options for securing account settings for administrators.

The field of user experience optimisation has exploded in recent years. For a time, technology was forging ahead so quickly that software developers hardly had the opportunity to design intuitive and pleasant interfaces. Everyone here at Damson Cloud knows the value of user experience, and that’s why we’re so excited about Okta. By calling ourselves cloud architects, we’ve committed to more than just functional designs, we’ve committed to pleasant, usable solutions for every end-user. Contact us to start blueprinting your cloud platform today.

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