Google Partners with Okta to Appeal to the Enterprise
By Jim Lundy
While VMworld was going on last week in Las Vegas, so was Oktane, Okta’s annual customer event. Mega Cloud provider IBM showed up at VMworld and Google’s Diane Green (formerly of VMware) showed up at Oktane to announce a new partnership with Okta. This blog is about the new Google and Okta partnership.
Google and Okta announced a new Reference architecture that will enable enterprises to move applications to the Google Cloud. The Google-Okta Reference Architecture has two key focus areas:
- Google will serve as an authentication master
- Okta will serve as the identity bridge to address advanced identity requirements
This partnership is about moving large sets of identity forests away from Microsoft Active Directory. This move is a solid one for both Google and Okta. Google is the big winner: They get bridging authentication for 4,000 on-premise and Cloud-based applications via Okta.
Transformation and the Rise of Digital Identity
Digital identity is the new imperative for IT, and both CIOs and CEOs need to leverage identity in a multi-vendor Cloud world. The need to verify employees and customers in a secure and easy manner is rising to the top of both the security and digital experience checklist. Okta is one of the vendors who is leading the charge here and the fact that Google tapped them is significant. That said, others have recognized this and today, there are over 100 different identity providers vying for your business. Some are open source and some are enterprise grade.
One of the reason that there are so many providers is the recognition that enterprises will need to simplify the login process for the applications that they sell. This is another reason that identity management will become critical as both an internal and external access solution.
Google Opens Up
Google needs to open up and be more enterprise-friendly and Diane Green understands that. To get more applications and enterprises onto the Google Cloud, it needs Okta, who has a large and growing list of integrations.
The other item that we are noticing is that Google is now showing up at more conferences at a senior level. Having Diane Green speak at Okta Oktane in Las Vegas was a smart move. If anything, Google needs to do a lot more of this at the executive level. Enterprises want to hear more from Google.
Enterprises and Identity
There is a growing recognition that identity needs to be part of the product mix, but we are still in early days. While large enterprises understand this, identity is still not an easy-to-deploy solution. If you are a business leader, you need to look at digital identity as part of the overall portfolio. If you are an IT leader, you need to look at identity as more than just Single Sign On (SSO).