Managing access to cloud-hosted tools is the tip of the iceberg when it comes to identity management. If each user has his or her own mix of apps, internal IT teams have no control over access.
Similarly, if the user has umpteen passwords to remember, there is a high risk of forgetting them and losing access to apps.
Being a trusted cloud broker involves recommending and rolling out new apps, managing SaaS and cloud contracts, and consulting on security, including user provisioning.
You must understand identity management as well as how to sell it.
Traditionally, identity management sales are focused on large-scale, on-site deployments rather than linking together all the cloud-based applications on which a user might depend.
Cloud-based identity management allows you to be a trusted adviser and hang on to the customer relationship.
Moving over to cloud-based applications can be easier and faster if users do not have to remember multiple passwords across all their apps.
Rather than having a free-for-all on app access, user access can be tracked and measured – seeing when unauthorised apps are being used as well as the level of uptake for new ones.
This makes a move to the cloud more likely to succeed.
Going down the cloud broker route can open up opportunities with smaller organisations that cannot afford a hefty services engagement when it comes to migration.
Partners can offer cloud-based identity management as a way to get customers on to all their productivity apps.
Of course it also helps IT retain control, rather than relying on the individual user.
Identity management is a growing market segment, particularly where the cloud is involved.
The long-term opportunity for companies providing cloud services is through regular annuity revenue, rather than one-off licence sales.
This should continue to grow as more customers adopt cloud technologies, and look for help to manage them.
Daniel Power is EMEA sales director at OneLogin
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