User management delineates the ability for admins to handle the user access to many IT resources such as devices, systems, apps, storage systems, networks, SaaS services and much more. User management is a core component to any kind of directory service and is a primary security necessity for any company. User management enables the admins to manage the user access and the onboard as well as off board users to and from the IT resources. Then, a directory service authenticates, authorizes, and audits the user access to the IT resources on the basis of what IT admin has determined. Normally, the user management is always grounded with the on prem servers, databases, VPN etc. But the recent trends are noticing a shift in the direction of the cloud based IAM, granting the admins more control over the digital assets.
IAM Systems: A Chapter before the User Management
Developers have always called out for the need for a user access management system when the digital networks were initially developed. Before the public internet, a network of computers was just connected merely on a proprietary basis and on a large scale between the universities. Picture the IT admins and developers not wanting the unauthorized people to have access to the proprietary digital resources. Instead of that, they wanted to limit the access to the approved people only. Hence, the user management came into existence.
And as the internet began to thrive and became more public, this very idea of limiting the traffic kept persisting and was deemed the primary driving force behind the multiple authentication protocols such as LDAP and RADIUS. Microsoft stepped ahead and created an Active Directory® or AD. It is used to integrate user data and provision access to many IT assets on the basis of needs. In a Windows based ecosystem AD persisted as the primary user management platform for decades. Nowadays, a new wave of cloud newness has altered the game of user management entirely. The first cloud directory Directory-as-a-Service®, is a great instance of a modern step towards the user management for the cloud era.
Why Manage the User Identities?
In simpleton terms, user management is the solution of the user access management to various resources. For instance, the marketing team usually needs access to many resources than the accounting team. Additionally, an employee in the marketing department doesn’t need any access to internal financial system and the finance guy doesn’t need access to the sales. User management lets IT admins to handle resources and provisions the users on the basis of need and role.