Business System Complexities and What To Do About It
Business systems are complex, only becoming more complex, and as such the management of the associated identities has spiraled out-of-control for many Enterprise organizations. Additionally, it is increasingly more challenging to protect the type of devices that access Enterprise data. Over the years, this has culminated in business unit owners. For example, a worst case scenario that comes to mind isthat an end-user could throw down a corporate credit card and purchase a full suite of back office functionality that was mobile-enabled, location independent, not under the control of Enterprise IT.
As a result, Enterprise IT has begun losing control of where sensitive data (i.e. PII, PCI, IP, etc.) resides and businesses are now at the same time, both empowered and at risk more than ever before. There is now a very obvious need for organizations that find themselves in this spot to shift focus to be less on the “thing” that accesses Enterprise data and more on the identities themselves. So what can be done so the gap of information management and business productively can be closed, while not perpetuating the issues? Implement a sound Identity and Access Management solution that solves real business problems, removes real risk from the business and where real cost savings are realized. Today.
Here are few examples that highlight what I mean:
“Reducing cost and improving productivity”
For example, an automated workflow system could streamline the user provisioning process and eliminate the need for a number of silo administrators managing different systems and applications. Users self-managing their accounts, resetting their passwords and unlocking their accounts through a portal will also improve productivity.
“Quickly integrate, reducing expense, risk, and time”
For example, an IAM solution can provide a means to manage a single identity principle that can authenticate and have access granted to systems in a parent or child data center or cloud-hosted PaaS/SaaS environment. The same solution can then continue to be leveraged to reduce ongoing operational costs through delegated and self-service administration.
“Reduce risk and improve compliance”
IAM solutions provide a means to manage user account provisioning, de-provisioning and governance all of which are foundational elements of organizational compliance. For example, an IAM solution can deliver an account provisioning process that automates: 1) Provisioning/De-provisioning, 2) Enforcement, 3) Report/Audit, 4) Review/Certify, and 5) Reconcile.
“Control provisioning and de-provisioning”
IAM solutions provide a means to systematically address the issue of provisioning user access to the diverse array of platforms and directories to highly transitional employee base. For example, an IAM solution can deliver an account provisioning and de-provisioning process where new users automatically get all their appropriate system access, on day 1, based on their job role. Conversely, user accounts are automatically de-provisioned from the appropriate systems when they leave the organization.
These are just a few examples of the way that IAM solutions, traditionally thought of as a solution that did not directly provide non-technical benefits to an organization, can align to solve real business challenges. Now all that needs to happen is that internal business processes need updated. Change control needs to be rewritten. Users need to be reeducated. And the correct solution needs to be selected from a sea of options. Hey, the only way to win is to first start right?