Owning the Customer Identity
If you’re still waiting to get on board with cloud services, you’re missing out on more than you think. A typical SMB in today’s world has their exchange server and filer server sitting under their roof, and they’re running Active Directory.
Why? Because that’s how it’s always been done. The Active Directory serves as the single authentication into the Windows world, giving users access to Exchange, Word, Excel, and specific file folders. It’s the security layer that decides what each individual user can see and interact with.
It matters. You need it. So why are we talking about it? Because one by one, more and more applications are making the jump to the cloud. Take a look at your taskbar. How many applications are still under your roof, and how many have already moved to the cloud? Eventually, almost everything will be cloud-based.
As applications move into the cloud, your on-premise Active Directory isn’t going to be able to manage things as well. Microsoft sees what’s happening here, and has created Azure Active Directory to meet the needs of a cloud-facing IT landscape. According to Microsoft, Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) is a multi-tenant, cloud based directory and identity management service.
Azure AD sits in the cloud and lets you create security for anything you’re using there. 6,000+ third-party applications work with Azure AD, and when a user logs in, it knows what applications to give access to. It stores usernames and passwords. It allows you to get everything in the cloud and everything on-premise.
The number of applications moving to the cloud is increasing every day, and the relevance of on-premise Active Directory is dwindling fast. You can fight it and risk getting left in the dust, or you can embrace it as the opportunity that it is.
How do you embrace it? By realizing the power of ownership. When you move to the cloud, you’re not passing ownership of everything over to some cloud overlord. With the built-in integration of ConnectWise CloudConsole, you’re turning your Active Directory into a cloud-based, single pane of glass where you’ll be able to see and control the Active Directory for every single one of your end users. If you’re the one that owns moving this Active Directory into the cloud, and you have ConnectWise CloudConsole integrated into Azure AD, everything will be in one place and you’ll own the identity.
Own the Identity, Control the Relationship
When you’re in control, you act as the final authentication piece for everything that’s moved into the cloud. You’ll be in control of modifying their Azure AD as every new application pours into their cloud. You’re used to owning the Active Directory on-premise. In the cloud, it’s even more important to own it and provide those valuable cloud services to your clients.
If you don’t, someone else will step in and do it for you. Offer your customers a single place for control, a single person (you!) to connect everything they count on to do their business. You’ll find yourself at the epicenter of their business growth.
Margins are tight in today’s market. By managing cloud services for your clients, you’re taking control of another way to offer value for them. They know they can count on you for it, and they’re willing to pay for the privilege of having a trusted advisor take care of it on their behalf.
After all, if your clients can’t get into the applications they need, you’ll be the one to get the call. Shouldn’t you also be the one managing the whole system? Be proactive about getting ahead of the migration to the cloud, or you’ll see huge losses when the time comes.
Where to Start
Don’t wait for your customers to ask you about the cloud. Get out in front of this. Sell them on the benefits of moving to the cloud so they’ll be ready to make the move. And just what are those benefits?
Moving to the cloud means:
- A multi-tenant, high availability Active Directory
- Automated failover for instant access
- Affordable, efficient user management
- Flexibility of cloud-only identity or synched with on-premise
- Centralized management for all of your Active Directory users
- Proactive issue monitoring for Microsoft® Office 365™ & Azure™
- One invoice for simpler cloud billing
Start talking about the benefits now, for you and your customers, and you’ll be setting your business up for serious profits and steady growth in the new age of cloud-based applications.