Organizations are sprinting to Office 365. In fact, users will have to convert by Oct. 13, 2020 as support for Office 2020 ceases that day. By then, many organizations will be 100-percent cloud, but most are so heavily invested in legacy infrastructure that they will be forced to stay hybrid for the foreseeable future. Either way, it’s easy to see why Office 365 is Microsoft’s fastest growing commercial product ever. It saves money and helps organizations to be more agile and innovative in how they do business. But while it offers a tremendous number of benefits, it also brings new and unexpected challenges.
Migration is the first major hurdle. Whether an organization is moving from Exchange, Outlook PSTs, third-party archives or non-Microsoft platforms - such as Lotus Notes or Gmail - Office 365 migrations can be labor intensive and risky. If not done right, they drain time, resources and budget.
But even after migration, your job isn’t done. As hybrid and cloud footprints expand, the complexity of securing, managing and ensuring compliance for multiple environments increases. Admins in the on-premises world are primarily a master of a single technology. But on-prem AD and Azure AD are not the same thing – far from it. Native management tools are very different. Therefore, AD admins must learn how to manage Azure AD, plus multiple Office 365 workloads, such as Exchange Online and Skype for Business. This is a tall order for harried admins – and IT departments already short on time and resources.
While Microsoft promises a financially-backed, 99.9-percent SLA for Office 365, access governance and overall data security is still the responsibility of customers. Unfortunately, the native management GUIs simply don’t scale past approximately 50 users. What should be routine admin tasks are manual, tedious and time-consuming processes that require clicking through seemingly unending screens to complete. Someeven require advanced knowledge of PowerShell, which many IT pros lack.
The limitations of Office 365 and Azure AD native tools are noticeably apparent in provisioning and privileged access management. User-access requirements are in constant change, and there’s no way to dynamically provision access across hybrid directories and applications. Plus, manual provisioning via multiple disparate interfaces creates disjointed security policies, which potentially leads to data breaches, penalties and fines for non-compliance.
There has to be a better approach, right?
Yes, there is!
One Identity’s Active Roles 7.1 release is optimized to serve the needs of both on-prem AD and Azure AD in a hybrid Active Directory environment. It offers a single console, unified workflows and a consistent administrative experience across the entire hybrid environment. It eliminates the cumbersome, error-prone, and limited nature of using separate tools and manual processes.
Key features of Active Roles v7.1: