Why do I need Azure AD?
This is an Ice breaker and a question I get all the time and I see it maybe in the same way an electrician would see it 100 years ago...
Today we all know about its benefits and mostly take it for granted however at that time only a few knew that electricity could become a... utility.
If you look at the applications you have been running On-Premises you may find Apps that authenticate users through Active Directory and others that will use customized methods and even store a separate set of identities to enable users access... the same way people would have a firewood or gas stove oven to cook their meals.
Ok. I'll stop with the analogies here... now my 10 questions are:
- Are you only providing your users access to On-premises apps?
- Would you like to manage a single set of Identities instead of having to manage separate Identity sources for each app, group of apps, customers or partners?
- Would your users like to have to remember only one password to access all of their apps?
- Do you or your users want to be able to securely and easily access those apps from any device, platform or location?
- Are you using or planning to provide access to cloud apps and services - not only Azure Services and Office 365 apps but also non-Microsoft apps on any cloud?
- Do you want to easily provision and de-provision users/groups access to those apps from any device, platform or location?
- Do you require your users, devices and apps to be remotely managed, monitored and compliant with any industry regulation or data protection laws?
- Do you need to provide highly secure access to your apps and protect your resources against advanced security threats?
- Do you want to enable your customers and partners (consumers and enterprises) to seamlessly and securely sign-up and sign-in to your apps?
- You want all of the above and have the control over who, when, where and how users access your resources (and data)?
If you answered NO to all the questions above then you can keep using your firewood or gas stove :) wood or gas it still serves a purpose and Azure AD is not a replacement for AD(DS) but a (huge) complement.
For everyone else be assured Azure AD is for you, so stay in tune and I promise that I will go over the main use cases in the next few posts.
Today Azure AD is the largest cloud Identity solution in the world providing identity management and access control to approximately 13 million organizations, including 1 billion users access to Microsoft and 3rd party Apps which makes 10 billion authentications per week!!!
If you have a scenario that has not been provided with a solution yet, we are probably already working on it and if not please talk to us, we are always listening and willing to help you achieve more.
Hope it helps!
Paulo Francisco Viralhadas
Premier Field Engineer - Secure Infrastructure - Microsoft