Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) vs Google Cloud Identity comparison

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Executive Summary

We performed a comparison between Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) and Google Cloud Identity based on real PeerSpot user reviews.

Find out in this report how the two Identity and Access Management as a Service (IDaaS) (IAMaaS) solutions compare in terms of features, pricing, service and support, easy of deployment, and ROI.
To learn more, read our detailed Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) vs. Google Cloud Identity Report (Updated: January 2023).
670,523 professionals have used our research since 2012.
Q&A Highlights
Question: What are the biggest differences between Google Cloud Identity and Microsoft Azure Active Directory?
Answer: Both identity providers have their own pros and cons. Google doesn't have a road map for device management though they have recently announced support for windows 10 & Ubuntu. I would recommend Microsoft Azure Directory for its access control management features. I would like to know your requirement for further inputs.
Featured Review
Quotes From Members
We asked business professionals to review the solutions they use.
Here are some excerpts of what they said:
Pros
"Multi-factor authentication really secures our environments and gives us the flexibility to use location-based policies. Azure AD also gives us a lot of flexibility in our scope of integration.""The most important things of Azure Active Directory are the security and the facility to manage all the services and users. It is very easy to manage users and assign roles, permissions, and access. At the same time, it is a very secure environment. Microsoft takes security very seriously. They take care of all the security and all the factors to prevent any kind of data or information compromise.""I would say that Azure AD's pricing is very reasonable because of the structure and in terms of the solution.""Conditional access is a very important feature where a specific user can be restricted such that they cannot connect to the application if they travel outside of the US.""It offers features that improve our security posture such as multifactor authentication, which is the second layer of protection that is used when we log into the cloud.""If a company has hundreds of users that already exist in the cloud, and it now wants to enable those same users to be present in third-party applications that their business uses, like Atlassian or GoToMeeting, the provisioning technology can assist in achieving that.""Very stable and scalable IAM service with good SSO and authentication features.""Azure Active Directory provides us with identity-based authentication, which secures access at the user level and also integrates with conditional access policies and multi-factor authentication helping to increase the identity security for that person. So, the hacking and leaking of passwords is a secondary problem because you will not authenticate a person with one factor. There is a second factor of authentication available to increase the security premise for your company."

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"The solution is moderate to difficult to use. I found the approach was practical. Following the steps made it very easy to use.""It's easy to set up.""Cloud Identity is scalable enough for our needs. It's serving more than 3,000 users in our organization.""Google is always on its own. Google Cloud Identity is pretty good on every point.""The most valuable feature of Google Cloud Identity is group access. You are able to assign policies to groups instead of users individually.""One of the most useful features was the single sign-on. You can use it as an identity provider or service provider. And you can use their organization unit feature to enable or disable some of the features for a specific group of users."

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Cons
"When we add some user groups, at times they will not be properly configured. Also, sometimes Azure AD is not aware of the group policy, like the control, device functions, and settings, in detail. For example, you cannot configure these settings through mobile devices. It doesn't provide the flexibility to do that. The other challenge is that a third-party application may provide access without authorization.""Microsoft services and most familiar third-party applications are currently supported, but we can't find many other platforms that integrate with Office 365 or Azure Active Directory. Microsoft should develop connectors for different applications and collaborate more with other vendors to cover a broader range of applications.""I would like to see Microsoft communicate how they intend to manage legacy applications. Right now, you still have to deploy a hosted domain server (which comes at an extra cost) if you have a legacy application that cannot sync properly with the enterprise applications and the modern applications.""Microsoft is working with Microsoft Identity Manager for Active Directory on-premise. It will be very important to have these identity management solutions directly in Azure Active Directory. It's very important to have some kind of Azure identity manager as a technology for identity and access management for working both in the cloud and inside the Azure suite.""The solution has certain limitations. For example, it has very little governance functionality.""Everything should be in one package. There are so many different packages. They need to provide guidance because there are so many features and we don't know how to implement them in our organization.""Four years ago, we had an issue with Azure AD. We wanted to reverse sync from Azure AD to on-prem Active Directory, but we couldn't achieve this. Azure AD could connect only in one way, for example, from your site to Azure. If you needed to do the reverse and connect from Azure to on-prem, there was no way to achieve it. We asked Microsoft, and they told us that they don't support it.""I would like to see a better delegation of access. For instance, we want to allow different groups within the company to manage different elements of Azure AD, but I need more granularity in delegating access."

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"The interface could be more user-friendly.""Google Cloud Identity the UI could improve.""Google Cloud Identify could make the technology used easier to understand as a layman making it more user-friendly.""The one place it could be improved is the password vaulting. The password vaulting does not prevent the admins from reading users' passwords, and that's a debate.""If you want to set up some alerts, you don't have much control over the configuration. You have to use their default alerts. And they only provide alerts for certain activities, so you cannot customize those. Monitoring isn't very helpful either.""Technical support is slow."

More Google Cloud Identity Cons →

Pricing and Cost Advice
  • "We got a good deal. If you get rid of all the products providing features that Azure Suite can provide, then it makes sense cost-wise."
  • "Microsoft has a free version of Azure AD. So, if you don't do a lot of advanced features, then you can use the free version, which is no cost at all because it is underpinning Office 365. Because Microsoft gives it to you as a SaaS, so there are no infrastructure costs whatsoever that you need to incur. If you use the free version, then it is free. If you use the advanced features (that we use), it is a license fee per user."
  • "Make sure that you get the most out of your Office 365 licenses for Azure AD. If you have additional concerns for users who don't have an Office 365 license, consider Azure AD Premium P1 and P2. Be aware that you have to evaluate your license usage beforehand."
  • "If you have a different IDP today, I would take a close look at what your licensing looks like, then reevaluate the licensing that you have with Microsoft 365, and see if you're covered for some of this other stuff. Folks sometimes don't realize that, "Oh, I'm licensed for that service in Azure." This becomes one of those situations where you have the "aha" moment, "Oh, I didn't know we can do that. Alright, let's go down this road." Then, they start to have conversations with Microsoft to see what they can gain. I would recommend that they work closely with their TAM, just to make sure that they are getting the right level of service. They may just not be aware of what is available to them."
  • "If you are dealing with one supplier with an out-of-the-box solution, which provides you end-to-end capabilities, then it is naturally cheaper and less of a headache to manage and operate."
  • "Be sure: You know your userbase, e.g., how many users you have. You choose the right license and model that suit your business requirements."
  • "For the Czech people, the solution is not cheap, as we are not a rich country. However, for most countries, the product pricing is acceptable."
  • "Everything needs to be considered for the requirements and if it is within the budget, then you can come up with a solution, whether it is SaaS, PaaS, or IaaS."
  • More Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) Pricing and Cost Advice →

  • "When I worked on Cloud Identity, they offered a free or enterprise version. You can synchronize and create up to 100 user identities in the free version. After that, you have to purchase a business or enterprise license. In that model, you'll be charged based on the number of users."
  • More Google Cloud Identity Pricing and Cost Advice →

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    Questions from the Community
    Top Answer:Azure Active Directory's single sign-on feature has been helpful because users don't need to authenticate again and again each time they access it. Users only need to sign in the first time, and Azure… more »
    Top Answer:Active Directory is bundled with a package of Microsoft services, so it doesn't cost much. I don't know about the individual license of Active Directory.
    Top Answer:Microsoft services and most familiar third-party applications are currently supported, but we can't find many other platforms that integrate with Office 365 or Azure Active Directory. Microsoft should… more »
    Top Answer: Microsoft Intune offers not only an easy-to-deploy data protection and productivity management solution, but also access to both Microsoft’s user community as well as around-the-clock customer… more »
    Top Answer:The most valuable feature of Google Cloud Identity is group access. You are able to assign policies to groups instead of users individually.
    Ranking
    Views
    29,201
    Comparisons
    21,853
    Reviews
    100
    Average Words per Review
    961
    Rating
    8.8
    Views
    12,080
    Comparisons
    10,395
    Reviews
    5
    Average Words per Review
    422
    Rating
    7.8
    Comparisons
    Also Known As
    Azure Active Directory
    Cloud Identity, Cloud Identity Premium
    Learn More
    Overview


    Azure Active Directory (Azure AD), part of Microsoft Entra, is an enterprise identity service that provides single sign-on, multifactor authentication, and conditional access to guard against 99.9 percent of cybersecurity attacks.

    Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) is a cloud-based identity and access management service. This service helps your employees access external resources, such as Microsoft 365, the Azure portal, and thousands of other SaaS applications. Azure Active Directory also helps them access internal resources like apps on your corporate intranet network, along with any cloud apps developed for your own organization.

    Azure AD is intended for:

    • IT admins: As an IT admin, use Azure AD to control access to your apps and your app resources, based on your business requirements. For example, you can use Azure AD to require multi-factor authentication when accessing important organizational resources. You can also use Azure AD to automate user provisioning between your existing Windows Server AD and your cloud apps, including Microsoft 365. Finally, Azure AD gives you powerful tools to automatically help protect user identities and credentials and to meet your access governance requirements.
    • App developers: As an app developer, you can use Azure AD as a standards-based approach for adding single sign-on (SSO) to your app, allowing it to work with a user's pre-existing credentials. Azure AD also provides APIs that can help you build personalized app experiences using existing organizational data. 
    • Microsoft 365, Office 365, Azure, or Dynamics CRM Online subscribers: As a subscriber, you're already using Azure AD. Each Microsoft 365, Office 365, Azure, and Dynamics CRM Online tenant is automatically an Azure AD tenant. You can immediately start to manage access to your integrated cloud apps.

    Cloud Identity is an Identity as a Service (IDaaS) and enterprise mobility management (EMM) product. It offers the identity services and endpoint administration that are available in G Suite as a stand-alone product. As an administrator, you can use Cloud Identity to manage your users, apps, and devices from a central location - the Google Admin console.

    Offer
    Learn more about Azure Active Directory (Azure AD)
    Learn more about Google Cloud Identity
    Sample Customers
    Azure Active Directory is trusted by companies of all sizes and industries including Walmart, Zscaler, Uniper, Amtrak, monday.com, and more.
    ExtraHop Networks, HealthChannels
    Top Industries
    REVIEWERS
    Financial Services Firm15%
    Computer Software Company13%
    Manufacturing Company10%
    Energy/Utilities Company6%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Computer Software Company20%
    Financial Services Firm12%
    Comms Service Provider9%
    Government7%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Computer Software Company22%
    Comms Service Provider13%
    Government6%
    Financial Services Firm5%
    Company Size
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business32%
    Midsize Enterprise14%
    Large Enterprise54%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business21%
    Midsize Enterprise13%
    Large Enterprise66%
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business36%
    Midsize Enterprise9%
    Large Enterprise55%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business29%
    Midsize Enterprise15%
    Large Enterprise56%
    Buyer's Guide
    Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) vs. Google Cloud Identity
    January 2023
    Find out what your peers are saying about Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) vs. Google Cloud Identity and other solutions. Updated: January 2023.
    670,523 professionals have used our research since 2012.

    Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) is ranked 1st in Identity and Access Management as a Service (IDaaS) (IAMaaS) with 99 reviews while Google Cloud Identity is ranked 4th in Identity and Access Management as a Service (IDaaS) (IAMaaS) with 6 reviews. Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) is rated 8.8, while Google Cloud Identity is rated 7.8. The top reviewer of Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) writes "With multi-factor authentication, we've seen a marked decrease in the number of threats we've seen come through". On the other hand, the top reviewer of Google Cloud Identity writes "You don't need much expertise or previous experience to work with it". Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) is most compared with Auth0, CyberArk Privileged Access Manager, AWS Directory Service, PingFederate and Okta Workforce Identity, whereas Google Cloud Identity is most compared with Microsoft Intune, Okta Workforce Identity, VMware Workspace ONE, Cisco Meraki Systems Manager (MDM+EMM) and JumpCloud. See our Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) vs. Google Cloud Identity report.

    See our list of best Identity and Access Management as a Service (IDaaS) (IAMaaS) vendors.

    We monitor all Identity and Access Management as a Service (IDaaS) (IAMaaS) reviews to prevent fraudulent reviews and keep review quality high. We do not post reviews by company employees or direct competitors. We validate each review for authenticity via cross-reference with LinkedIn, and personal follow-up with the reviewer when necessary.