Gartner Research

Eight Opportunities and Challenges for Cloud Directories in Hybrid IT

Published: 23 November 2016

ID: G00313425

Analyst(s): Erik Wahlstrom


Hybrid IT and the on-demand digital business require technical professionals that focus on IAM to provide integrated and agile directory services for multiple users and device constituencies. We assess cloud directories and their opportunities and challenges in meeting these requirements.

Table Of Contents


  • Hybrid IT and Its Effects on Directories
    • The Insufficiencies of LDAP
    • New Types of Identity Consumers
    • New User and Device Constituencies and Their Relationships
    • Deeper Integrations
  • Why Cloud Directories and Why Now?
  • The Different Flavors of Cloud Directories
  • Traditional Directories and Hybrid IT
  • Eight Opportunities and Challenges When Using Cloud Directories in Hybrid IT
    • Identity Migration Scenarios
    • Deep Integration With Cloud Applications
    • Deep Integration With On-premises Applications and Equipment
    • Consumer IAM Scenarios
    • Internet of Things Scenarios
    • High-Security and Privacy Scenarios
    • Low-Latency-Requirement Scenarios
    • Developer Experience
  • Strengths
  • Weaknesses


  • Adopt Cloud Directories
  • Verify Support for On-Premises Applications, Devices and Network Equipment
  • Migrate Slowly
  • Respect and Cater to Privacy
  • Strive for SSO, Then Delegated Provisioning Agents and Finally Password Synchronization
  • Concede That Directories Are a Lifelong Commitment for Your Entities
  • Pamper Your Developers
  • Size Up Cloud Directories' IoT Strategies

The Details

  • Cloud Directory Vendors
  • Flattened Hierarchies
  • The Four Major Hybrid Models Used by Cloud Directories
    • On-Premises Cloud-Bound Synchronization Agents
    • On-Premises Single Sign-On and Synchronization Services
    • Delegated Authentication and Provisioning Agents
    • Identity Federation With Just-In-Time Provisioning

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