I write so frequently about specific issues, features and products related to identity and access management software, I sometimes lose the forest through the trees. It’s important to step back and think through periodically exactly what IT teams are attempting to accomplish when they deploy an identity and access management software solution.
While much has been written about the critical need for improved identity and access management software deployments at enterprises, there isn’t much original research or statistics on which drivers compel IT teams to deploy these solutions. By conducting some research of my own and pulling together comments from many sources, I’ve come up with the five key reasons enterprises deploy robust identity and access management solutions:
- Contribute to securing the network — Robust identity and access governance access certification solutions are the critical components to what I call the “verification trilogy;” ensuring accurate identification (who are you?), authentication (are you who you say you are?) and authorization (what are you allowed to access on the network?).
- Save the time of both network administrators and users — As IT continues to have increasing time and performance demands placed on them, they are turning to automated solutions that handle many functions previously managed manually. Identity and access management software is tailor made for automated solutions covering a wide range of functions.
- Improve work group performance — Users and IT teams alike recognize that advanced group creation and rule-based group management in conjunction with self-service group management, for example, can significantly improve business users’ performance by giving them the power to create, disband and manage groups without waiting for IT support.
- Save IT budget — While I haven’t found any research that points to reducing budget as the primary reason behind deploying identity and access management software, saving budget is discussed in nearly every piece of coverage I read.
- Meet government agency regulations — SOX, Dodd-Frank and related regulations are increasingly compelling organizations to deploy improved enterprise risk management practices generally and identity and access risk management in particular. Concurrently, partners in extended value chains that include multiple vertical vendors are requiring that more robust risk management solutions be in place prior to opening their networks to information sharing and collaboration.
Among the innovations that help meet the needs of the IT community is our Lifecycle Management integrated IT Store ITIL service catalog, which makes it possible for IT teams to see and index everything they manage by creating a IT services catalog in the form of a graphical IT Store. The Lifecycle Management business services catalog is fully integrated with our identity management engine, so it is a truly actionable service catalog. It makes common tasks such as the user provisioning of facility access, equipment asset allocation and network application access so easy, any user can complete them.
Hand in hand with Identify Enforcer is our Automated Workflow solution, which we have built into the framework of the IT store. Through automated workflows, we shift accountability into the hands of business users and remove it from IT. Our automated workflow lets everyone ‘shop’ for resources while giving the appropriate management control over approvals. Provisioning transactions work just like shopping online.
It’s important to understand the “why behind the buy”. IT teams want to know how their needs compare to those of peers within other organizations, and we like to have the market feedback so we can develop new and better innovations. What’s clear is innovative identity and access management is here to stay and is growing as a critical resource for IT teams eager to improve user productivity, stretch resources and comply with an increasingly complex web of regulations.
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