BYOD also means Choose Your Own Authentication Service. Applications within App stores are not focused on integration with Active Directory Services(ADS) but cloud services like Google, FaceBook and SalesForce.com. Google demonstrated this today with the announcement: Google+ hopes it has found an identity with new app sign-in feature in GIGAOM.
When buying an application, business consumers are not placing a high priority on enterprise integration. Gamification as a teaching tool will also challenge authentication in the enterprise in 2013. The challenges of Active Directory Services (ADS) are reminiscent of those of Novell in the 90’s with Novell Directory Services (NDS).
These external influences will impact many enterprise organizations and their CIO’s where Active Directory Services has been the traditional authentication platform for enterprise services. Applications and not the operating system are now the determining factor for authentication services. Directory and authentication services are becoming application centric with file services like Dropbox and Box. Facebook as a result of its presence in social media is the biggest provider of application authentication services in the cloud due to its user population. Content whether it is in the form of applications, games or file sharing are all driving this disruption in traditional computing.
With corporate enterprises tipping their toes in the water with cloud based email this is the first step of many as enterprise services become OS independent. As cloud based E-mail environments such as Gmail are making their way into small, mid and enterprise businesses, authentication it will be a challenge for corporate IT. IT needs to come to this realization as ADS has the potential to become a silo’d service in the corporate enterprise.
This is a perfect storm considering that Google is making a play for the enterprise with Gmail, Gmail is removing Active Sync support due to Microsoft licensing practices and Apple is gradually removing Kerberos which is the basis for ADS out of OSX. Google and Apple have no interest in being Windows (ADS) friendly and Microsoft is directly competing against both these vendors to retain market share.
ADS was built for a corporate Windows environment and its associated applications not a consumer, BYOD end-user. The predominance of end node devices and applications not being Windows, poses a problem for CIO’s as most users have more than one computing device. Consumerism on the end node will impact the existing install base of Microsoft Active Directory Services. A comprehensive cloud strategy needs to look at being Operating System neutral when it comes to authentication services as applications are moving towards a cloud and mobile architecture.