Buying from a market leader is the first thing that comes to most minds when the time comes to acquire a product or solution. After all, these businesses must be leaders for a reason. They must have the best solutions and after-sales service, and they make choosing their offerings simply obvious. They might cost more, but it would, in fact, be easier to have that purchase authorized than getting a go-ahead for something from a lesser known company.
Still, is buying from market leaders always the right answer? Particularly in the world of IT, IT security and the new market of SaaS, where there are so many brilliant minds with deep vision, fantastic products and excellent service? It might just be worth your while to dig around before choosing a vendor.
Looking at the automobile industry as an example, customers buy from various top brands for various reasons. Some people just ‘gotta have’ a BMW, Porsche or Lexus, because of the status the brand conveys – the brand appeal is a critical part of the purchase. But most customers choose their vehicle from numerous competing options by comparing other features that matter the most to them.
A bachelor with a daily commute job, trying to save money, wants a car with great mileage, easy repairs, and that has a reputation of being highly reliable. He will choose from budget options such as Toyota, Ford, Honda, Volkswagen, etc. A family of four with two large golden retrievers will want an SUV with 4WD, large internal cubic space, and comfort on long rides. They will be looking at these parameters before considering mileage and aesthetics.
Likewise, in the SaaS market, a customer needs to know what his unique requirements are. He must realize that the BMW of SaaS products might not bring the best bang for his buck given his needs, or in fact may straight up not even fulfil his requirements. Various vendors offer various products and, while flagship features like Single Sign-on in the IAM space might not be best-in-class from one provider, buying a market-leading product instead, just based on this comparison, is equivalent to buying a BMW as a commuter car just because it’s 0-100 acceleration is the best.
So, what are the different things to look for when choosing an IAM solution? Did you know that most vendors, including market leaders, have poor legacy and thick-client app support? Merely looking at industry reports and picking a top vendor from these lists would be a critical mistake if your organization relies heavily on such apps. You will need a vendor that supports such apps, like Cross Identity.
Perhaps you are a small business or a startup and are finding it difficult to hire dedicated Information Security staff. The market leaders might not actually be as attractive when you realize the burden the solution places on you in terms of setup and maintenance manpower needs. Instead, it might be worth looking for a solution that can be easily managed by your regular IT staff. Cross Identitys are a perfect match here as well.
Here’s another example: your business has allotted some budget to IAM but the approving parties are skeptical to commit to a significant spend. Putting a full-suite solution in front of them is just asking to scare them off. You want a solution from a vendor like Cross Identity, where most IAM functionalities are offered as individual pay-as-you-go services. This way you can get easy approval and get your long-term IAM vision started quickly, solve critical IAM needs in your company right away, and add more services to the environment as your business warms up to spend more.
The point is, in IAM, like in the automobile industry, there are various kinds of products. It is never safe to blindly pick a market leader, trusting that their solution must simply be one of the best. It would be folly, and an expensive one at that, not to first assess your own requirements, and then find a product that matches. And it is important to know that top vendors in the IAM industry might have the best punchlines in terms of features, but your needs might still be much better served by a lesser known competitor.