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26 Apr

Why move to Microsoft Active Directory?

Active Directory, known as AD for short in IT circles, is the premiere directory based identity management tool from Microsoft.  It might sound like something too technical for your organization, but as you grow it will scale with you.  Whenever you deploy a Windows domain controller server it comes with Active Directory as the means to centrally manage the network based resources of your growing business from one place.  AD is a truly powerful central database that helps control access to all resources in a Windows Domain based network.  This means anything from files and folders to printers and much more.  Additional features and offerings from 3rd parties that are designed to work with AD leverage something called AD Integration which we'll discuss next.

What is Active Directory Integration?

First, let's take a moment to think about your user's identity in Active Directory as their hotel room key.  Without that key you can't get access to anything and the same thing holds true on a Windows domain based network and your AD credentials. When it comes to uses for AD, Microsoft has spared no expense in making sure that vendors design integration for this standard into their applications.  Let's look at security as an example. Many newer security and access systems that use NFC cards and other tokens now include AD integration into their feature sets. This allows you to add/remove physical and virtual access to your business from a single location as AD really is the authoritative user directory for the identity of every person in your organization.  You want applications and systems that integrate with AD so you and your team only have to concern yourselves with managing identities from a single location. 

Optimizing your operations via Active Directory

Over time the organization that is driven by optimization will want to consolidate all those separate databases with user information.  Having user information spread out over many databases is a serious security concern and in this day and age of breaches, malware, and hacking it makes sense to consolidate to a single secure system.  AD is a system designed by Microsoft to be both robust and secure.  Wouldn't you rather put your resources into securing one key user access database rather than spreading your resources trying to protect several?

Where can you go from here?

Now that you have just a taste of what Active Directory can do for your organization the next step is to see how to capitalize on that knowledge.  Don't fret about the complexities in deploying this solution for your enterprise just talk to us and we'll be happy to show you the way.

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