Compare IdaaS Solutions: IBM Security Verify and Okta Identity Cloud

See how IBM stacks up

The value and market adoption of cloud-based identity and access management (IAM) is clear, and yet the space is crowded with vendors all making similar claims. When headline features like single sign-on (SSO) and multifactor authentication (MFA) are no longer considered special, identity-as-a-service (IDaaS) vendors need to offer more to help customers scale and modernize to support their zero trust initiatives and protect their internal and external users, assets, and data for hybrid multicloud.

Both IBM and Okta IAM solutions provide the core capabilities to begin an IAM modernization journey, and IBM's cloud IAM capabilities start at a low list price . But as use cases and user populations evolve, IAM modernization can extend further.

Key IDaaS capabilities IBM Okta
Support for both workforce and consumer IAM use cases from one solution X X
Federated single sign-on to cloud, on-premises, and mobile applications with support for modern authentication standards like SAML 2.0 and OIDC and pre-built connectors for common SaaS applications X X
Protection of legacy on-premises applications from the cloud using a lightweight application gateway X X
Wide array of MFA methods, including SMS, email, voice, and time-based one-time passwords, mobile push, biometrics and hardware tokens X X
Ability to apply adaptive MFA broadly across cloud and on-premises applications, VPN, Linux SSH and Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) X X
Some degree of contextual access management across network, device, user and behavior parameters X X
Universal cloud directory with bidirectional mastering from any number of third-party identity providers X X
Out-of-the-box integrations with commonly used social authentication providers like Google, LinkedIn and Apple X X
Several strategies for user provisioning and lifecycle management to extend existing investments, including Active Directory and LDAP agents with attribute-level mastering, JIT and SCIM provisioning, and API-based provisioning X X
Password reset self-service, access requests workflows, and delegated administration to line-of-business managers X X
Built-in reporting to diagnose authentication events X X
Developer resources to support embedding identity functions into custom applications X X
Cloud-native service with multi-region coverage, scalability and high availability to support data residency and redundancy requirements X X
Certifications for SOC 2 Type II, ISO 27001, ISO 27017, and ISO 27018 X X


1. IBM Knowledge Center, IBM Security Verify

2. Okta Help Center, Documentation for Administrators

IBM extends modernization of IDaaS

Most of these capabilities should be a baseline expectation for an IDaaS solution. Delivering simple, secured access to a variety of end users to help eliminate password fatigue and provide a second layer of security is no longer unique.

Context is good. Protection is better.

As identity programs scale in a largely distributed world with a widened attack surface, most vendors now offer some degree of identity-related context checking to inform authentication decisions. But IBM offers the depth to help organizations meet complex risk-based authentication and adaptive access use cases for both employees and consumers, with over 20 years of strong history in the IAM space and long-standing fraud detection IP across deep user, device, activity, behavior and environmental risk attributes.

Not all IAM vendors can also be successful as consumer identity and access management (CIAM) vendors. But with the right identity experience, it’s possible. With differentiated capability across access management, CIAM and risk-based authentication, IBM has the expertise to guide organizations through their zero trust initiatives, both inside and outside the enterprise.

Plus, all of IBM’s cloud IAM capabilities are delivered with flexible contracts, allowing dynamic expansion of use cases or user populations as your IAM needs evolve. How ready is your IAM stack for the future?

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