Recently we had the opportunity to attend the Gaming and Leisure Roundtable in Las Vegas. The event, put on by the Gaming and Leisure Magazine, is unique in that CIOs and other C-level executives from gaming organizations around the world gather at a forum to speak candidly about key issues and challenges. The event is known for knowledge exchange that is lively, frank and unequivocally valuable. While a variety of topics were touched upon, with respect to IT automation there was significant time spent on developing standards, addressing compliance globally and difficulties in identifying, hiring and retaining quality IT professionals.
As IT automation experts, we aren’t surprised that the gaming and leisure industry is looking for opportunities to streamline operations and facilitate regulatory compliance. There are two key factors that have created a host of business challenges for gaming organizations, and CIOs can resolve them through IT automation.
The first factor is globalization. As organizations expand operations across various states, reservations, and around the world, the regulatory compliance management process requires a configurable platform with workflow automation that is highly adaptable to address the needs of each discrete locale. Without this configurable platform, the variation in regulatory requirements across locations causes problems with systems and workflow such that flexibility is limited and operations managed through cumbersome manual processes.
The second factor — user provisioning — creates a significant and expensive bottleneck, particularly with new hires and terminations. One CIO who spoke about the hand-offs required to on-board and terminate user accounts explained that within his organization it takes three people to fully execute the process. At Avatier we know that without IT automation, a constant stream of simple, routine requests becomes an unnecessary re-occurring cost that gaming can live without. These manual everyday tasks not only gobble up man hours but also prevent IT from focusing on other more critical information security risks.
We also listened to several executives relate their challenges with hiring and retaining IT talent. The CXOs in attendance expressed difficulty in hiring quality IT professionals and retaining a technical staff. The high turnover rate and challenges associated with hiring quality talent translates into operational bottlenecks from chronic understaffing.
The advantage that IT automation delivers with respect to managing staffing challenges is two-fold. First, it off-loads manual, time consuming tasks that prevent staff members from focusing on more critical projects and information security risks. Second, it transforms an organization to reduce the amount of overall staff necessary to run the department. When you take what was once a three person job — like on-boarding — and automate it, you remove a significant drain on time and resources within your department. And, subsequently, your staff becomes available to focus on more important information security risks and projects.
Our key takeaway from this event is that the gaming and leisure industry is crying out for IT automation, yet they do not frame their challenges in context to an identity management solution. From a regulatory compliance perspective, the expansion of business into new geographic locations creates unique localization conditions that should be addressed through configurable solutions offering workflow automation flexibility. IT automation with built-in compliance assurance tools addresses these challenges with a focus on the business. From a business management point of view, automating manual, everyday requests just makes sense. It prevents your personnel from engaging in manual processes, optimizes your staffing activities, improves information security, allows for immediate new hire provisioning and saves money.
At next year’s event, we look forward to sharing our success with the IT automation of user provisioning, access governance and password management along with the benefits delivered to our customers in the gaming industry.
Learn the role IT automation and business driven self-service administration play in creating lean operations. KuppingerCole’s Assignment Management — Think Beyond Access describes the shift in IT operations from tightly controlled identity management processes to workflow enabled administration.