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The World’s Leading Organizations Are Leaving Legacy Technology in the Past

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Keith Casey
Solver of API Problems

When Charles Darwin researched evolution in the mid-1800s, he realized that the species who survive longest are those most adaptable to change. Now, almost 200 years later, the same stands true for organizations looking to survive in a rapidly changing business landscape.

While companies are grappling with the implications of new technologies like cloud and mobile computing, virtual reality, and machine learning, many still rely on outdated technologies to provide users access to critical resources. This includes Microsoft’s Active Directory (AD), a 20-year old system that has been lagging behind its competitors by failing to adapt to the requirements of new enterprise technology.

Understanding these limitations, leading organizations across various industries are adopting cloud-based, agile directories that seamlessly integrate with their various applications. By doing so, these companies are enhancing their capabilities for productivity, collaboration, and agility in their markets.

Relying on AD impedes modernization efforts

There are many ways that using AD can be an obstacle for your organization. Because of its integration challenges, your IT team has to deploy third-party connectors that add complexity to their infrastructure. This means that the simple task of adding cloud-based applications to your technology stack becomes an unnecessarily complex process.

Beyond the added workload considerations, relying on legacy technology has a major impact on IT modernization:

  • Forcing old technology into new patterns and architectures introduces subtle incompatibilities and unpredictable behaviors
  • This approach ignores the new patterns and architectures available from new technologies
  • Hybrid IT environments incorporating on-premises, mobile, and cloud resources require a massive skillset and breadth of understanding
  • Legacy technology often ignores modern best practices and security mitigation strategies
  • Employees face poor user experiences as they try to access the systems and applications they need to do their jobs

Innovative enterprises are overcoming these challenges

In order to surpass these obstacles, modern organizations around the world are stepping away from inflexible legacy technologies and adopting centralized, cloud-based solutions that streamline the way they operate. Leading the charge in their respective industries, Okta’s customers have become pioneers in making secure migrations to cloud-based infrastructure that replaces legacy systems like AD.

Allergan tightens control over sensitive information

Allergan leads the way in pharmaceutical innovation through a collaborative Open Science model where they engage with various independent researchers and organizations. The company has also established its position within the industry by employing a rigorous partnership and acquisition model that’s helped it grow both in size and research scope. This meant that the organization was managing employee and researcher identities across multiple AD directories that didn’t easily integrate with other systems. Added to that, Allergan was working with thousands of independent researchers and partners that needed access to their systems, and AD wasn’t equipped to effectively manage the lifecycle management for these contingent workers.

In order to optimize its identity and access management process, Allergan turned to Okta’s cloud-based identity platform. This included implementing Universal Directory, a centralized system which hosts all employee and third-party contractor data and shares it seamlessly and securely across the company’s cloud-based and on-prem applications—something AD couldn’t accomplish. In addition, Allergan also adopted Okta’s Lifecycle Management, which has helped them automate the onboarding and offboarding of 23,000 employees and 50,000 partners.

Cloud identity assists 20th Century Fox

When building the blockbuster movies it’s known for, 20th Century Fox uses a network of 200 distributed partner companies—each with its own set of user directories accessing a variety of technologies and vendors. This process relies on ensuring these partners can easily and securely connect into Fox’s digital supply chain and collaborate with one another.

To modernize its efforts, Fox deployed a cloud-based identity management solution that has simplified its previously complex AD environment. With Okta, Fox can now provide its 5,000 employees and an extended enterprise of more than 22,000 people with secure access to its systems and applications, making collaboration easy. Now, Fox is able to configure new applications across the workforce in just 20 minutes—much faster than it would have been with AD—enabling it to quickly meet the diverse demands of its huge ecosystem.

Adapt to survive in the enterprise landscape

Success in the modern enterprise landscape is reliant on following nature’s many examples of adapting to change. As you look to modernize your organization, examples like Allergan and 20th Century Fox showcase that there are many benefits to leaving legacy technology behind and opting for a centralized, cloud-based approach to identity.

For more information on how Okta can help your business escape the limitations of Active Directory, download our Rethink Active Directory whitepaper.

casey keith headshot 150x150
Keith Casey
Solver of API Problems

Keith Casey currently serves on the Platform Team at Okta working on Identity and Authentication APIs. Previously, he served as an early Developer Evangelist at Twilio and before that worked on the Ultimate Geek Question. His underlying goal is to get good technology into the hands of good people to do great things. In his spare time, he helps build and support the Austin tech community, blogs at CaseySoftware.com and is fascinated by monkeys. He is also a co-author of “A Practical Approach to API Design” from Leanpub.