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IAMaaS makes sense for many because if the applications to which external access is granted are cloud-based, why not the IAM system as well? In addition, the external users being granted access are likely to do so over the internet, so the IAM systems involved have to be open to the outside world anyway.
In keeping with a SaaS model, some vendors have begun to offer “SAML as a Service.” These offerings were created to help companies address the need for a flexible SAML model. To date, there are several SAML Internet application providers, including Ping Identity, Layer 7, SecureAuth, OKTA and others.
The business model is simple;
- the host company creates a SAML connection to the SaaS provider while in turn establishing connections with many other companies.
- When a user needs access to data and applications hosted by other SaaS providers, they log into the SAML provider’s application and a user’s SAML assertions are routed to one or more application providers as information is retrieved.
- While this approach is not SSO in its purest sense, as the end user needs to log into an external SAML SAAS application to be able to move freely between the Internet-based applications, it does succeed in eliminating numerous logins.
- Furthermore, assuming this authentication can be done as the user initially accesses the data, preferably at the beginning of the work day, based on the company’s security policies the end user will not experience a constant disruption of authentication requests while performing their tasks.
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