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Microsoft Azure Active Directory vs Okta Identity Cloud Comparison 2021

by Arthur Zuckerman

Excellent work requires highly secured systems and seamless workflows. Topnotch apps and online services can only be delivered through a safe, protected, and foolproof platform that ensures 100% fidelity among users and data. The secret of startups and developers that make it big is a robust and well-founded security infrastructure that can secure access across all endpoints for all users. This is what identity management software provides. Are you going to start developing an app? Are you going to endeavor on a new start-up? Are you starting an endeavor with numerous team players? If you are, you can’t possibly begin without first securing the service of an identity management software.

An identity management software is an essential tool that can ensure a highly secured, protected, solid, and fail-safe security infrastructure for developers, start-ups, businesses, institutions, and individuals that collaborate with numerous team players and stakeholders. it secures that only people with verified identities can have access to files and confidential data through multiple layers of verification mechanisms and protocols. This can be done and maintained organically by individuals and highly-skilled programmers. But even such individuals don’t have the time and effort to spare in creating solid multi-layered security infrastructure. This is where identity management software service comes to play.

Microsoft Azure Active Directory and Okta identity Cloud are two of the leading players in the identity management software industry. They make it easy for their users to focus on actual work as they can easily provide robust security infrastructure without the need for users to invest time and effort. With these software tools, users can directly work on their apps or projects without worrying about system security and verification protocols. For comprehensive research on the latest tools and trends in the market when it comes to handling digital ecosystems with multiple players, check our list of outstanding collaboration software.

With that, here’s a Microsoft Azure Active Directory vs Okta Identity Cloud comparison of the two software solutions.

What do users say about Microsoft Azure Active Directory vs Okta Identity Cloud?

Users of Microsoft Azure Active Directory and Okta Identity Cloud are vocal when it comes to praising the two software. Microsoft Azure Active Directory users love how the software makes it so easy to create and connect virtual computing systems. Ease of use and streamlined access is what Okta Identity Cloud users love the most with the software.

About Microsoft Azure Active Directory

Microsoft Azure Active Directory is the identity management component of the Microsoft Azure suite. Microsoft Azure was introduced in 2010 but it was only in 2015 that Microsoft Azure Active Directory came to be in line with undeniably high demand for enterprise-grade security needs of developers, businesses, and institutions. The software promises its users a 99.9% protection level when it comes to cyberattacks. Microsoft Azure Active Directory can secure identities from both internal and external sources.

Pro – Integrates seamlessly with Microsoft products.

Con – Steep pricing for premium tools.

About Okta Identity Cloud

Okta Identity Cloud boasts of more experience when it comes to offering tools for identity management. It has been servicing clients since 2009 and is known for its zero-trust networking protocol. It provides two different toolsets to its users: workforce identity and customer identity. Its workforce identity protocols can secure easy security access across all devices — desktop, laptops, smartphones, and tablets. It has special tools for independent onboarding and off-boarding of users. For servicing more than 8,400 clients all over the globe, Okta is valued as a $6 billion-dollar-company.

Pro – Tools for independent user onboarding and off-boarding are provided.

Con – Time-consuming protocols for a password reset.

Points of Comparison

These are some of the most important factors to consider in this Microsoft Azure Active Directory vs Okta Identity Cloud comparison:

1. Pricing

Microsoft Azure Active Directory and Okta Identity Cloud both offer forever free versions. Both platforms offer premium tools on a per user basis. This means that for both platforms, the subscription fee will depend on the number of active registered users.

Okta offers no bundled plans to users. Users are free to choose what tools they prefer to have with no ready default plans offered. Features and services are offered a la carte. With Okta Identity Cloud pricing, advanced users can totally save on costs because they can be free to choose just the exact tools that they need for identity management. Okta Identity Cloud’s a la carte pricing style is also very convenient to start-ups with limited numbers of users. Okta’s lowest-priced service is its Universal Directory feature that is priced at $1 per user per month. Large enterprises can opt to choose between two bundled plans: API Products One App and API Products Enterprise. API Products One App goes for $17,000 annually. API Products Enterprise is steeply-priced at $42,000 annually. If you run a large enterprise, you might be considering tools for remote support. You could check out our remote support software analysis to know more of enterprise-grade remote support tools that can tend to large-scale business needs.

Microsoft Azure Active Directory offers four paid bundled plans: Basic, Premium P1, Premium P2, and Office 365 Apps. Basic is available for $1 per user per month. Premium P1 is at $6 per user per month while Premium P2 is at $9 per user per month. Its Office 365 Apps plan is quote-based.

For users with a limited budget, both platform’s freemium versions are impressive enough to support the identity management needs of teams with basic security requirements. Microsoft Azure Active Directory’s freemium version is better for the simple reason that it can handle as much as 500,000 connections and allow for single sign-on for at least 10 apps. Okta Identity Cloud’s free version only allows for 50,000 connections.

2. User Capacity

How big is your business? Do you run a start-up or are you looking to boost the security of a big enterprise? User capacity should be your number one factor to consider as your identity management software of choice should be powerful enough to maintain and secure the active number of users that go with your business.

Of the two, Okta Identity Cloud is the robust option when you prioritize user capacity. Okta Identity Cloud offers no limit when it comes to active users. Microsoft Azure Active Directory is competitive enough but it can only ever allow for 500,000 connections with particular restrictions. Such restrictions include limits such as every active Microsoft Azure Active Directory user cannot go beyond 500 connections and 200 directories. This restriction makes Okta Identity Cloud ideal for large businesses and enterprises.

3.  Depth of Authentication

Both platforms offer standard potent tools for authentication like single sign-on and multi-factor authentication. The main difference between the two is the mechanism that they apply.

Microsoft Azure Active Directory deploys a security token system that totally separates servers from users. Upon sign-on, each user is given unique security tokens that can only be read by strict server protocols through a tight trust system.

Okta Identity Cloud deploys a zero-trust network protocol that is totally different from Microsoft Azure Active Directory’s system. In a zero-trust network protocol, no users, not even administrators, are marked safe. No special distinction can be had among users. Automatic locks and securities are instantly placed once the slightest warning of a breach is detected.

If you’re after the protection and fidelity of your files, do check out our in-depth software ranking of leading file management software.

4. Unique Tools

Special tools are uniquely offered by the two platforms. Microsoft Azure Active Directory provides impressive large-scale collaboration tools while Okta Identity Cloud offers special onboarding and off-boarding features.

One of Microsoft Azure Active Directory’s most outstanding tool is its B2B Collaboration feature. This feature allows users to share data with a totally different entity like a different company or institution. It is impressive for it has all the necessary protocols to secure that free-sharing of classified data can be had while fully protecting access among all players from two different parties. This makes collaboration significantly faster and easier as no delay whatsoever can take place when it comes to data exchange.

Okta Identity Cloud is a pioneer when it comes to offering tools that enable users to independently execute onboarding. It has a commendable Lifecycle Management tool that can instantly provide access to new members and completely block all former members on all access endpoints. Enterprises with classified data and confidential projects will greatly benefit Okta Identity Cloud’s self-service features.

6. Integrations

Microsoft Azure Active Directory has built-in third-party integrations that total to 2,800 apps. It can easily connect with third-party apps like Duo, ServiceNow, Saviynt, and more. As it is a Microsoft product, it can also seamlessly integrate with all Microsoft products.

Okta Identity Cloud has more built-in integrations with third-party apps that total to 5,500 apps that include G Suite, Slack, Workday, Zendesk, and more. It also has an open API so users can freely integrate with any third-party app of their choice.

What is the best identity management software for you?

This Microsoft Azure Active Directory vs Okta Identity Cloud comparison article will greatly work for you if you’re going to ask yourself the following questions:

  • How much am I willing to spend for an identity management software?
  • How many users do I need to secure and protect?
  • What kind of security protocols do I prefer?
  • Will I need to collaborate with different companies and agencies?
  • Do I want my users to independently execute onboarding?
  • How many integrations do I need?

Your knowledge of your needs will ultimately help you in deciding which is better between Microsoft Azure Active Directory and Okta Identity Cloud. On our end, we highly recommend the freemium version of Microsoft Azure Active Directory as it has more than the basic identity management tools that a small business with basic security protocol requirements can possibly need. For large businesses and enterprises, we encourage users to choose Okta Identity Cloud as it allows for unlimited connections and integrations with third-party apps.

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