Okta (previous CloudAve coverage), the company offering identity and access management service, announced last week that they are expanding into service catalog business. They announced the availability of Okta Application Network, a self service portal that IT can set up to allow employees of an organization easily access different cloud based applications. With this feature, enterprise IT can push their custom apps and other cloud based apps to the catalog, thereby, making application discovery for their employees much easier. When it is coupled with Okta’s single sign on solution, it becomes a very powerful offering.
As enterprises use many different cloud services and their own custom apps hosted either on public or private cloud, they need an easy way for their users to discover and use these services. Service Catalogs are a great way for IT to ensure smooth end-user discover and, also, to have control over the applications consumed inside their organizations. In fact, ITIL Version 3 makes service catalogs one of the core components of IT. On the cloud services side, Newscale (now acquired by Cisco), Jamcracker and HP’s Project Coral are some of the well known solutions (if you are a vendor in the cloud service catalog space or have a product that offers this as a feature, please add your company name below) available in the market. Now Okta joins this group adding more competition to the space. With instant access to more than 1,200 cloud and web apps via Okta, enterprise users can easily find the consumer and business apps that they need to use on a daily basis and self-configure to achieve single sign-on across all of their apps from their Okta homepage.
In my opinion, service catalogs are just a feature in a bigger product than a standalone product. Okta is adding service catalogs as an additional feature to their existing single sign on offering. When Okta was starting up, I had a chance to talk to Todd McKinnon, their CEO. I was not convinced that Okta can survive as a single sign on vendor in an already competitive space. At that time, Todd told me that single sign on is just a start and they will be adding more and more enterprise features that will make Okta a powerful solution. He envisioned Okta as a comprehensive cloud security company than just an IAM provider. This move clearly signals their intentions to expand their offering well beyond IAM. The sheer number of supported applications coupled with their single sign on and service catalog features makes Okta an interesting player to watch in the coming years.