Gartner Research

Decision Point for Integrating On-Premises Identities With Azure AD and Office 365

Published: 26 February 2016

ID: G00297817

Analyst(s): Mark Diodati


Most enterprises will require several hybrid identity implementations — directory synchronization and federation — to connect on-premises users to Azure AD and Office 365 services. Microsoft and other vendors provide identity products that can help organizations create a hybrid cloud architecture.

Table Of Contents

Decision Point Question

Decision Overview

Decision Tool

  • Exceptions
    • Identity Governance and Administration
    • Single Product for Directory Synchronization and Federation
  • Directory Synchronization
    • IAM for SaaS Apps Exclusively via Azure AD?
    • Is Password Synchronization or Management Important?
    • Is a Single-Vendor Solution Important?
    • Use AD Connect
    • Use Third-Party Directory Synchronization
    • Use Third-Party Directory Sync and AD Connect
    • Re-evaluate Directory Synchronization Requirements
  • Federation Identity Provider
    • Federation to Azure AD Only?
    • Federated SP Required?
    • SP for Windows and SAML Apps Only?
    • Many On-Premises Connections to SaaS Apps?
    • Use Active Directory Federation Services
    • Use Third-Party Federation Product

Principles, Requirements and Constraints

  • Incomplete User Management for SaaS Applications


  • Directory Synchronization
    • Azure AD Connect
    • Third-Party Directory Synchronization
  • Federation Identity Provider

Future Developments

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