Cloud

The top 10 ‘arms merchants’ of the cloud

Centrify

With the proliferation of mobile devices and apps we’re all using, how do businesses secure their data and manage who can or can’t access various apps and data and set policies for such usage? Centrify has emerged as one of the more interesting businesses helping companies to do this across all of their environments: on-premise data center, mobile devices, and cloud apps.

Companies no longer just manage identities and access privileges across on-premise systems such as Windows and Linux. They also have to manage apps on mobile platforms as well as SaaS apps hosted onsite — or even offsite. Centrify enables companies to use their active directory domain to manage users and devices through one software. For example, it ties the single sign-on (SSO) protocols of cloud apps to the active directory. Even if apps don’t support a protocol, Centrify can simplify access by enabling end users to store their login info in a cloud-based Centrify vault.

Founded in 2004, Centrify has raised $52 million from investors and says it’s growing at 40 percent annually, with revenue of $50 million this year. It competes against others like Okta and Ping Identity, both of which have raised significant cash. Last month, Ping raised another round, making for a total of $78 million. However, Centrify is positioning itself as the only company that can support both the data center and the cloud, with Okta and Ping focusing mainly on the cloud and bigger legacy players like Computer Associates, Oracle, and Dell focused on the data center. It also scored a victory in signing a deal this year with Samsung, which is using Centrify in its Knox security service.

The question is how big Centrify can become, given that the overall market for identity management is only about $4 billion. The cloud-identity management segment was worth $200 million in 2012, according to Gartner, which expects the market to grow to $800 million by 2016 at a 41 percent annual rate. Will Centrify be able to locate derivative services that will help it grow?

If you’ve used Centrify, please let us know what you think, and get our free full report when it is released next month.

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