Monday, September 26, 2022

Okta vs Azure Active Directory (AD): Product Comparison

Enterprises are searching for identity and access management (IAM) software that meets their security goals, but not all IAM products effectively balance strict user and device guidelines with streamlined user experiences.

The global IAM market continues to grow, expanding from a value of $10.32 billion in 2019 to a projected value of $26.6 billion by 2030, according to Research Reports World

Okta and Azure Active Directory (AD) are both considered top players in the IAM market, each earning a leader designation in Gartner’s November 2021 “Magic Quadrant” for access management. Although both software solutions offer strong performance combined with strong strategic road maps for the future, Okta and Azure AD each take slightly different approaches to access management.

See below for a full comparison of Okta and Azure AD to learn which access management provider best meets your security and user management needs:

Okta vs Azure AD

Also read: Top Network Security Trends

Portfolio

Okta

Okta offers one of the most well-rounded access management portfolios in the market, from simplified user experiences to partner and external user management to support for different types of network access.

These are some of their core products:

  • Single sign-on (SSO)
  • Universal directory for users, groups, and devices
  • Server access management controls
  • API access management
  • Multi-factor authentication (MFA)
  • User experience (UX)-focused authentication
  • User profile and data management
  • B2B integration for customer, partner, and vendor user management
  • Automated provisioning and life cycle management
  • Access gateway
  • No-code automated workflows and orchestration
  • Day-one access during mergers and acquisitions

Okta also offers Okta Platform Services to its customers:

  • Directories for user storage
  • Integration frameworks, templates, and other resources
  • Insights support for Okta and partner-sourced data
  • Identity Engine for further access customization
  • Workflow orchestration with conditional logic and life cycle management
  • Device identity and contextual management

Azure AD

Azure AD offers many top IAM software features, though it does not offer quite as extensive of a portfolio as Okta does. However, Azure AD specializes in more granular cybersecurity needs, such as automated identity governance features.

These are some of their core offerings:

  • Single sign-on
  • User self-service
  • Conditional access
  • Multi-factor authentication
  • Single identity control plane
  • Automated identity governance
  • Risk-based adaptive access policies
  • Unified identity management across enterprise infrastructure types

Okta vs Azure AD

Breadth Depth Specialization Overall
Okta X X X
Azure AD X

Learn more about governance: Best Data Governance Tools & Software

Partners

Okta

Okta’s partner network covers five categories: distributors, global systems integrators, technology partners, solution providers, and managed service providers (MSPs). Beyond these core partner categories, they also have the Okta Integration Network, which offers over 7,000 native integrations for the Okta platform.

Okta and its partners operate globally, particularly in the U.S., Germany, Ireland, Singapore, and Australia, though some reviewers note that most of their operations and support remain within the United States.

Featured partners:

  • Deloitte
  • Accenture
  • PwC
  • KPMG
  • IBM Security
  • Carahsoft
  • Simeio
  • TechJutsu
  • CANCOM
  • AccessIT Group
  • RKON
  • Kollab
  • Optiv
  • Sirius
  • CDW

Azure AD

A big reason why customers select Azure AD is because of the strong global presence of Azure partners. Azure Active Directory is one of Microsoft’s non-regional products, meaning that it is available anywhere that customers use Azure cloud. Because of Azure’s widespread use across global regions, Azure has a partner presence across major global regions. However, many of these partners specialize in Azure as a whole or in different Azure applications, so it’s important to find partners that are familiar with AD and how you want to use IAM.

Featured partners:

  • MongoDB
  • Cisco
  • Infosys
  • NetApp
  • Apache
  • Red Hat
  • Sophos
  • Zoom
  • DocuSign
  • Google Cloud
  • WordPress
  • Zendesk
  • Apptivo
  • SAP
  • Citrix

Okta vs Azure AD

Breadth Depth Specialization Global reach Overall
Okta X
Azure AD X X X X

Use cases

Okta

Some reviewers believe that Okta’s products are designed for small-to-medium-sized businesses, but in fact, many of their most loyal customers are large global enterprises. Some of the ways that they’ve helped their customers across industries include developing secure omnichannel fan experiences, securing legacy platforms for cloud migrations, implementing zero-trust strategy, and assisting with life cycle management workflows.

Featured customers: Major League Baseball, FedEx, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Lululemon, Fidelity National Financial, Grubhub, Siemens, T-Mobile, Nasdaq

Industry verticals: Health care, public sector, energy, financial services, technology, travel and hospitality, nonprofit

Azure AD

Azure AD works with many large enterprise customers for their access management needs. And with Azure AD’s foundation in one of the largest global cloud platforms and technology portfolios, Azure AD can be integrated and transformed to meet a wider variety of cybersecurity and business needs. Nevertheless, most of Azure AD’s use cases, when not integrated with other Azure products, are limited and don’t cover some of the same access management specialties as Okta.

Featured customers: Walmart, ASOS, Kohler, JetBlue, Durham University, Premera Blue Cross, ZOZO Technologies

Industry verticals: Energy, financial services, gaming, government, health care, manufacturing, media and entertainment, retail

Okta vs Azure AD

Breadth Depth Specialization Overall
Okta X X X
Azure AD X

Learn about security in manufacturing: Manufacturing is the ‘Most Targeted’ Industry for Cyber Attacks

Ratings

Both Okta and Azure AD receive mostly positive feedback on major review sites. Azure AD’s average score across the sites is less than 0.1 higher than Okta’s score. It’s important to keep in mind that on many of these sites, Okta receives more reviews than Azure AD and performed nearly equally.

Okta vs Azure AD

Capterra G2 Gartner Peer Insights PCMag TrustRadius Overall
Okta 4.7/5 4.4/5 4.5/5 4.5/5 8.9/10 4.51/5
Azure AD 4.8/5 4.5/5 4.5/5 4.5/5 8.9/10 4.55/5

Recognition

Okta and Azure AD consistently rank at the top of access management reports and evaluations. Both Okta and Azure AD were ranked as leaders in Gartner’s November 2021 “Magic Quadrant” for access management. They have each been recognized by Gartner for five consecutive years, with Okta being named a leader each of those years. Okta received the highest “ability to execute” designation for 2021, while Azure AD received the highest “completeness of vision” designation.

Additional awards for each include:

  • Okta named a leader in Forrester’s 2021 “Wave” for enterprise identity-as-a-service (IaaS), with the highest scores in strategy and current offerings
  • Azure AD and Okta were named leaders in IDC’s “MarketScape” for worldwide advanced authentication

Okta vs Azure AD

Volume Variety Significance Overall
Okta X X X X
Azure AD

Overall

Overall, Okta is a better access management solution because of its broad collection of access management and user experience features. Its user interface and identity orchestration are considered the best in the market, and its various capabilities help Okta meet the needs of most industries and business sizes. 

Microsoft AD does not offer as extensive of an access management portfolio as Okta, and some reviewers comment on how their product and session capabilities aren’t as strong as other competitors in the access management space.

However, it’s important to note that Azure AD is frequently recognized for its vision and detailed strategic road maps. When you combine their strength in planning with their deep network of partners and integrations, Azure AD has all of the potential to surpass Okta and others if it improves the functionality of its IAM features.

Okta vs Azure AD

Portfolio Partners Use cases Ratings Recognition Overall
Okta X X X X
Azure AD X X

Datamation’s Top Identity Access Management Software Recommendations

Twingate

Learn more

Heimdal Security

Learn more

Semperis

Learn more

Learn about other top cybersecurity solutions in the Cybersecurity Market here.

Similar articles

Latest Articles