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Modernizing to the Cloud: How to Support a Hybrid IT Model

Daniel Lu
Daniel Lu
Product Marketing Manager, Single Sign-On

The proliferation of cloud-based services is not only transforming our society, but it’s redesigning the very fabric of our economy as well. Organizations are observing this pattern globally, and the potential business benefits are clear to them. As a result, cloud computing is rapidly reshaping IT strategy; it is no longer a question of whether services should be migrated to cloud, but which services to migrate first.

The Hybrid Cloud IT Model

The fact is many organizations will have a mix of on-premises and cloud-based applications. This hybrid cloud IT model, where an organization is running some enterprise IT services on its own systems and utilizing third-party cloud services to meet other business requirements, is either borne of necessity or is part of a broader modernization strategy.

On-premises applications can either be custom applications, which may or may not have a cloud migration strategy, or legacy applications that must run on an organization’s own computers. Either way, hybrid models exist in many organizations, especially those that were doing business before cloud computing entered the picture. The investments these organizations have made in legacy and on-premises infrastructure, and the fact that migrating these systems to the cloud is complex—and in some cases, not even possible—means hybrid models will be around for the foreseeable future

However, a hybrid cloud IT model is not an impediment. For some organizations, keeping certain systems on-premises may actually be the most agile, cost effective, and efficient system for delivering the best IT services considering the realities of their business. It gives organizations the ability to utilize the investment they have made in their existing infrastructure while leveraging the cloud for scalability and expansion. It can provide the best of both worlds if executed correctly. However, operating a hybrid cloud IT model can be challenging, especially if we consider the management of identity and access across multiple applications and environments that often don’t integrate well with each other.

Managing Identity for Hybrid IT

Consolidating authentication systems that manage identity and access for legacy IT infrastructure is complex, expensive, and time consuming. Today’s companies partner with third parties more than ever before, and this has forced organizations to provide access to external stakeholders such as suppliers and customers. This mix of disparate systems and user demands has created a unique IT environment in which identity management is central.

This is an environment where organizations depend on hundreds of apps and tools, while overseeing a distributed workforce of employees and external contractors that demand access to online systems anytime, anywhere, on any device. New tools and applications need to be added all the time—as do new users—and agility is key to a business’s survival, especially as competitors strive to come up with smarter, faster solutions. All of this necessitates an identity and access management platform that not only provides a seamless user experience, but that is strong, stable and takes hybrid infrastructure into account.

How Okta Can Help You Manage Hybrid Identity

Okta Identity Cloud provides a suite of solutions that help organizations meet today’s identity challenges. Single Sign-On (SSO) provides an enhanced authentication experience while Universal Directory provides one place to manage all users, groups, and devices. Lifecycle Management automates the control of user identity from creation to deletion, and Adaptive Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) enhances security with login contex. Finally, API Access Management enables developers to secure the connections between their different APIs. All these services combine to form an integrated identity solution that allows organizations to automate, move faster, and eliminate friction.

When it comes to consolidating identity, the Okta Integration Network provides pre-built integrations that securely connect everything - applications, HRIS, network security, CASBs, API Gateways, and more - to Okta’s central cloud identity service. This enables organizations to quickly adopt and deploy a cloud first strategy, while still maintaining and finding value in their on-prem investments.

Okta natively integrates with any on-premises app that uses SAML or OAuth authentication, and can provide an on-prem RADIUS agent for any application that uses RADIUS as its authentication mechanism. Okta can also support cloud-based LDAP authentication, minimizing or completely removing the need the on-prem LDAP servers.  With partnership and integrations with leading Applications Delivery Controllers such as F5 Networks, Okta can also support header-based authentication.

Hybrid models will be part of the IT landscape for years to come. However, operating a hybrid IT model does not mean you need to sacrifice the security and usability you achieve by deploying a consolidated authentication solution. You can still support your company’s legacy systems while enhancing user experience, providing a 360-degree view of user identity, automating the user lifecycle, and increasing security with contextual awareness. With Okta, you can integrate identity across your hybrid IT landscape with pre-built integration solutions for cloud as well as on-premises apps, no matter which authentication model they utilize.

Regardless of how old or new your IT infrastructure is, the cloud is rapidly transforming the way we work, and will play an important role in the success of your organization. Contact Okta today to learn more about integrating your legacy or on-prem systems into a seamless hybrid model, or watch the full Oktane18 video here.  

Daniel Lu
Daniel Lu
Product Marketing Manager, Single Sign-On

Daniel Lu is a Product Marketing Manager at Okta focused on Okta’s Single Sign On product. He’s responsible for growing the Single Sign On business and takes every opportunity to discuss why Okta has the best Identity and Access Management platform in the market. Daniel has focused his career on scaling great businesses. Prior to Okta, Daniel was part of business strategy at Adobe and before that, he co-founded a golf company.

Daniel holds an MBA from Northwestern University and a BS in Electrical Engineering from University of California, Davis. He’s a rare Bay Area native and currently lives in San Francisco. When he can, Daniel tries to make time for international travel, new restaurants, and exercise.