Gartner Research

Choosing Between On-Premises Federation and Federation IDaaS

Published: 06 March 2014

ID: G00261583

Analyst(s): Mary Ruddy


When implementing a federated SSO solution, one of the foundational architectural questions is whether to use an on-premises solution or a cloud-based IDaaS offering. Consider factors common to any on-premises vs. as-a-service decision, and the maturity of commercial identity federation offerings.

Table Of Contents

Summary of Findings



  • Inherent Characteristics
    • Software Platform and Installation Ease
    • Software Maintenance and Upgrade Ease
    • Security and Data Protection
    • Privacy
    • Agility
    • Deployment Architecture
  • Functional Maturity
    • Modern Architecture
    • Modern UI
    • SaaS Integration
    • On-Premises Application Integration
    • Customizability
    • Standards Adherence
    • General Maturity of Functionality
    • License-Term Flexibility
  • Recommendations for IT Organizations
    • Consider the Choice to Use On-Premises Federation vs. IDaaS to be a Core Architectural Decision
    • Decide Whether an On-Premises Federation or an IDaaS Approach Is a Better Fit Before Creating Vendor Shortlists, But Be Willing to Re-Evaluate the Decision As You Learn More
    • Don't Assume That a Cloud Approach Is Always Better
    • Don't Assume That Keeping Federation Software On-Premises is Always "Safer"
    • Expect Most Federation IDaaS Projects to Include Some On-Premises Components (i.e., To Be Hybrid Implementations)
    • Commit to Making Ease of Use a Priority for Both End Users and Administrative Users
    • Expect Federation Use Cases to Continue to Grow and Morph
    • Treat Federation Agility as a Core Requirement

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