Gartner Research

Provisioning User Accounts to Cloud Applications

Published: 02 April 2014

ID: G00258442

Analyst(s): Lori Robinson


IAM teams must select user account management mechanisms that integrate with cloud applications and deliver appropriate automation. Most cloud services providers have not learned from the failures of on-premises application vendors and don't support a standard interface for access management.

Table Of Contents


  • The Cloud User Management Challenge
    • Volume
    • Maintenance
    • Username and Password Overload
    • Repeating Mistakes of the Past: Proprietary APIs
    • Identity Governance
  • State of the State: "Make These People Productive"
  • Methods of Managing User Accounts in the Cloud
    • Manual
    • Bulk Load
    • Directory Synchronization Utility
    • User Provisioning System
    • IDaaS System
    • Homegrown
    • Just-in-Time (JIT) Provisioning
  • Levels of Effort
  • SCIM
  • Influencing Factors: Choosing a User Management Method
    • What Is the Primary Motivation for the Project: User Provisioning or Federation?
    • What Is the Target System Landscape?
    • What User Management Methods Does the Cloud Application Support?
    • How Will the Solution Integrate With Existing User Provisioning Technologies?
    • What Are Your Identity and Access Governance Requirements?
    • Is the Organization Willing to Use an IAM Solution That Is Hosted in the Cloud?
  • Strengths
  • Weaknesses


  • Understand What User Management Methods the Cloud Application Supports
  • Appropriately Select Your Fulfillment Mechanism
  • Implement Identity and Access Governance Practices
  • Use Existing Infrastructure and Processes
  • Encourage the Adoption of SCIM

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