IGA: Open Source versus Commercial Solutions

Should you choose an open-source solution or a commercial product for your company’s Identity Governance and Administration (IGA) system?

 min read
Should you choose an open-source solution or a commercial product for your company’s Identity Governance and Administration (IGA) system? Well, that depends. What are your organization's specific needs? Is budget the top priority? What's your in-house level of technical expertise? Your long-term goals?

Here are some reasons you might consider using open source for IGA instead of  a commercial product like SailPoint:

1. Cost: Open-source solutions are typically free to use, while commercial products like SailPoint come with licensing fees, support costs, and potential implementation expenses. If budget is a major concern, open source can offer significant cost savings.

2. Customization: Open-source solutions allow you to modify the source code to tailor the IGA system to your organization's unique requirements. This level of customization might not be possible or may come at a higher cost with a commercial product like SailPoint.

3. Transparency: Open-source projects are transparent in terms of their codebase and development process. This transparency can give you greater confidence in the security and functionality of the software. With commercial products, you often have limited insight into the inner workings of the system.

4. Community Support: Open-source projects often have active communities of developers and users who contribute to the project's development, offer support, and share knowledge. This can provide a wealth of resources and assistance when troubleshooting issues or seeking guidance.

5. No Vendor Lock-In: Using an open-source solution reduces the risk of vendor lock-in, where you're dependent on a single vendor's technology and may face challenges if you want to switch to a different solution in the future. With open source, you have more control over your technology stack.

6. Integration and Flexibility: Open-source solutions can be integrated more easily with other tools and systems, giving you greater flexibility to build a comprehensive IGA system that suits your organization's existing infrastructure.

7. Learning Opportunities: If your organization has technical expertise or is looking to develop it, using open-source solutions can provide valuable learning opportunities for your team members. They can gain experience by working with the codebase, contributing improvements, and understanding the software's inner workings.

8. Longevity: Open-source projects are often community-driven and can have a longer lifespan even if a specific company or entity supporting the project changes. This can provide more stability and reassurance for long-term use.

At Atricore we favor open source solutions. But that doesn’t mean we’re blind to the potential drawbacks. Actually, we’ve come up with ways to address them!

1. Technical Expertise: Implementing and maintaining open-source solutions can require a higher level of technical expertise compared to using a commercial product with dedicated support. That’s why Atricore has a dedicated team of highly experienced engineers who will work hand-in-hand with your technical team. From consulting to implementation and last-mile challenges, through dev, Q&A and into production: our team is at your side all the way.

2. Support and Accountability: While open-source communities can offer support, it might not be as structured or responsive as the support provided by a commercial vendor like SailPoint. We’re vendor-agnostic, so whichever open source solution you decide to use, you can count on our engineers to provide enterprise-grade support, filling in any community knowledge gaps.

3. Features and Updates: Commercial solutions like SailPoint may offer more extensive features out-of-the-box and regular updates, which could save time and effort on development and customization. At Atricore, we make it our mission not only to keep up with the latest in in source tech, but to develop our own open source solutions when we identify needs or functionality is lacking. If one open source solution doesn’t have all the features you’re looking for, we’ll help you identify and implement a suite of tools for a truly holistic system customized to your specific needs.

4. Security Concerns: While open-source software can be secure, the responsibility for maintaining security often lies with your organization. Commercial vendors like SailPoint typically have dedicated teams focused on security. As cybersecurity experts, Atricore offers complete security systems, meeting your needs and plugging any holes. With strategies and pro services from penetration and stress testing, through SIEM/SOC, IAM and IGA, we’ll help you build a culture around DevSecOps: security from start to finish.

In summary, the choice between open source and a commercial product like SailPoint for IGA depends on your organization's priorities, resources, and technical capabilities. If cost savings, customization, and flexibility are critical, open source might be a good fit. If you prioritize comprehensive features, structured support, and potentially faster implementation, a commercial solution like SailPoint could be more suitable.

Or there’s a third road that you can take: with Atricore’s combination of open source tools and technical know-how, you can harness the advantages of open source without sacrificing on features or support, and our end-to-end implementation services are fast and reliable – without breaking the budget.

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