Oktane13 Session Spotlight with AMAG: Nathan McBride on Eliminating the ‘Microsoft Virus’

Guest post by Nathan McBride, vice president, IT and chief cloud architect at AMAG Pharmaceuticals.

Oktane13 is almost here and I’m thrilled to be a part of the speaking faculty for this inaugural event. I was asked to speak about deprecating Active Directory in the enterprise – or as I like to call it, eliminating the “Microsoft Virus.” There seems to be a lot of discussion right now in tech media and amongst my colleagues about authentication, and almost every discussion stems from the same nucleic decision: when going to the cloud, keep Active Directory or get rid of it?

6171239560 311dea88f2 nWhen our IT team started planning AMAG’s cloud migration back in 2008, we initially thought we had to keep Active Directory in order to execute a cloud strategy. I thought, “How else would we centrally authenticate all of our systems?” This past summer, I wrote about how we answered that question in the Harvard Business Review, discussing the baby steps needed to move a company to the cloud and the considerations that come with it based on my own experiences. One of those considerations was evaluating authentication strategies. To this day, we still consider authentication the most complicated component of our cloud paradigm and we are constantly trying to evolve our model to be more and more flexible every day. This, in my opinion, would not be possible if we were still brokering to an Active Directory backend.

In my presentation I’ll discuss the steps we took at AMAG Pharmaceuticals to deprecate Active Directory, what happened when we did, and how we are doing today. (Spoiler alert: we don’t miss it.) So, considering removing Active Directory? Think it’s impossible? Wondering how Okta fits into our authentication strategy? You’ll walk away from my presentation with at least one more perspective to help you in your decision making process.

Come see Nathan McBride (@n8) present ‘Moving Identity to the Cloud: Looking Beyond Active Directory’ at Oktane13 on Monday, November 4, 2013 from 1:30 – 2:15pm in San Francisco, and don't forget to register here.