Gartner Research

Guidance for Microsoft Office 365 Identity Management

Published: 17 May 2018

ID: G00347574

Analyst(s): Mark Diodati


Identity management for Office 365 is challenging. Last year's best practices are no longer valid due to new features like Azure AD Seamless SSO, Pass-through Authentication, Conditional Access and group-based licensing. This document provides Office 365 IAM guidance for technical professionals.

Table Of Contents

Problem Statement

  • Goals
  • Challenges
    • Third-Party Identity Offerings
  • Importance

The Gartner Approach

The Guidance Framework

  • On-Premises Preparation
  • User Management
  • License Management
    • Cost Center Allocation
  • Authentication
    • Password Authentication
    • Single Sign-On
    • Multifactor Authentication

Additional Considerations

  • Third-Party Identity Management
    • User and License Management
    • Availability
  • Azure AD Premium Licensing
  • Office 365 Service Considerations
    • Groups and Access Control
    • Exchange Online
    • SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business


  • Azure AD Connect
    • Azure AD Password Hash Synchronization
    • Azure AD Pass-Through Authentication
  • IGA Integration
  • Azure AD Seamless Single Sign-On
  • Office Client Single Sign-On
  • Azure AD Conditional Access
    • Azure AD Identity Protection
    • Custom Controls
  • Azure MFA
  • Group-Based Licensing
  • Azure AD Domain Services
  • Virtual Directory

Gartner Recommended Reading

©2021 Gartner, Inc. and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved. Gartner is a registered trademark of Gartner, Inc. and its affiliates. This publication may not be reproduced or distributed in any form without Gartner’s prior written permission. It consists of the opinions of Gartner’s research organization, which should not be construed as statements of fact. While the information contained in this publication has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, Gartner disclaims all warranties as to the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of such information. Although Gartner research may address legal and financial issues, Gartner does not provide legal or investment advice and its research should not be construed or used as such. Your access and use of this publication are governed by Gartner’s Usage Policy. Gartner prides itself on its reputation for independence and objectivity. Its research is produced independently by its research organization without input or influence from any third party. For further information, see Guiding Principles on Independence and Objectivity.

Already have a Gartner Account?

Become a client

Learn how to access this content as a Gartner client.