3300 Thoughtworkers move to the cloud. Okta relieves their identity challenges.



Phil Ibarrola:  ThoughtWorks is a international software consultancy helping our clients with their most ambitious missions through disrupting thinking, pioneering tools, and software delivery excellence.

We have approximately 3,300 ThoughtWorkers, distributed across 32 offices, in 12 countries, on six continents.

As TechOps Historian I service ThoughtWorkers. So, my main remit is making the systems that ThoughtWorkers use better and more efficient, so they can go serve our clients better.

Over the past 10 years at ThoughtWorks things have changed significantly. So, we went from a very traditional on-premise-hosted environment to kind of dipping our toe into the cloud, and now we are very much a cloud-first organisation where any kind of internal system requirements, we look to the cloud first.

Before Okta, we didn't really have a concerted identity management strategy. It was all over the board. We had a lot of very brittle sync scripts that would link our systems to our Active Directory, and our Active Directory was fed by our HR system. It was all very synchronised. Sync scripts running at various times and various languages on various servers, and it was very brittle, very hard to maintain. And when things went wrong, and they often went wrong, it went very, very wrong.

We started looking for an identity management solution because over a third of our tickets coming into our help desk were authentication or identity related.

We chose Okta after evaluating a bunch of identity access management solutions in the space, and we felt like Okta was by far the best solution.

It ticked all the right boxes. Definitely true cloud architecture. It wasn't something that was an on-premise solution that was ported to the cloud.

The features I like most about Okta are the integration with MFA being built in, and having choices around MFA, where you can choose SMS, Google Authenticator, and now Okta Verify. And I think the push notification for multi-factor is going to be a killer feature that we're going to use a lot within our organisation.

Prior to MFA being integrated into our identity solution, we were using third-party solution that was a large contributor to the pain we were feeling, so getting multi-factor and an excellent user experience around multi-factor was a big win for us.

I also like the light-weight integration back into our Active Directory. I think we definitely wanted to keep control of our identity store, and Okta made it very easy to integrate their single sign-on with our back-end Active Directory.

Okta as a partner and as a vendor has been absolutely great do deal with. I feel like I can go directly to the people and the product. I feel like I can go directly to the people. I don't have to go through some chain of command.

They're very transparent in terms of what's in their roadmap, what's going on, what's coming next. I believe that they want to do things the right way. They want to build their application and build out their architecture the right way.

Thoughtworks is an international software consultancy with 3,300 employees distributed through offices on six continents. Over the past 10 years they have gone from storing data traditionally on-premise to being almost exclusively in the cloud. But this made for a hard to maintain system with brittle links to Active Directory. Thoughtworks chose Okta because they ticked all the right boxes and had a true cloud architecture. They also love that Multi-Factor Authentication is a built in function, and that the integration back to Active Directory made it easy to access the identity system with Single-Sign On.