Why Azure Active Directory should be on your technology roadmap

By Harry Reid

In my personal opinion, I have saved the best until last in my short blog series about why Microsoft Endpoint Manager should be on your 2021 technology roadmap. In my previous blog of the series I spoke about the benefits of Microsoft Intune and the reasons why it should be included in your 2021 Technology Roadmap if it isn’t already. The blog finished with discussion regarding BYOD and securing applications not only on corporate devices but also on personal devices. This fourth and final blog will dive into why Azure Active Directory should be on your technology roadmap as part of Microsoft Endpoint Manager (MEM).

If you’re unfamiliar with Azure Active Directory (AD) then this blog post will hopefully explain what Azure AD is and why it’s important. In a few words, Azure AD is used by Microsoft Endpoint Manager for the identification of users and devices. Azure AD will allow your companies administrators to handle multiple log ins with no issues allowing admins to assign a single username and password to multiple services.

It made sense to me to follow up from my previous blog on Microsoft Intune with element of MEM that will allow you as a business to manage not only your employees device identity but also the users, user groups and it will also include Multi Factor Authentication (MFA) not only for corporate devices such as laptops but also for the BAU applications that are used on personal devices such as smartphones.

Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) is a cloud-based identity and access management service which will help you as an organisation efficiently manage your estate while your staff base is working remotely. Azure AD will secure sign in activity on not only internal resources such as your M365 apps but also on thousands of other SAAS applications.

The reason why this is now becoming so important is because Azure AD is crucial to successfully securing and managing an organisation remotely. This is key for organisations as they look into how best to function during a global pandemic and beyond. It is a key component in allowing your business to develop with the new working landscape.

Azure AD will also ensure MFA is successfully deployed on all devices and for corporate applications which is key as your users could be working from anywhere and everywhere. Your IT team or admin will be able to control access to your corporate applications and resources based on your strategic direction of the business. Your administrators will also be able to do this remotely using the cloud-based applications available in M365 but also with non-native Microsoft applications. In a COVID world this enables your organisation to be secure, reactive and flexible without putting any staff members at risk. It will also allow you to secure any third-party IT functions within the organisation as well as any ghost applications that are being used as work arounds for various gaps in house.

Azure AD is specifically designed for the SAAS world and for cloud computing with a remote workforce. Previously IT teams in some organisations have struggled to sell this concept as it is, to many decision makers, the 'unknown’. In my personal experience, when working with a customer who is concerned that cloud computing isn’t the way to go because they don’t understand it and don’t want to understand it, it is very difficult to change their mind. What 2020 and the global pandemic has done, is create the business case for remote working to be standard, not just in public sector but across all industries. Azure AD and MEM should now be standard across all technology strategies as it’d the best way to future proof your organisation against any other issues that may impact your business. It is also a key pillar in making cloud computing not only a reality, but a secure and safe reality.

If you are wondering whether Microsoft Endpoint Manager is right for you, there is a very easy way to find out! Core are currently offering free technology strategy workshops which you can access through our website enquiries. Our free Technology Strategy Workshop are currently being delivered remotely over Microsoft Teams and can be delivered in a variety of formats. To get your free customized workshop please visit our website and contact us through the enquiry page by using the code HRBLOG. Please also visit our website for more blogs, podcasts, reports, case studies and virtual events as we kickstart 2021 with a bang!

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