Businesses that are able to implement Identity and Access Management (IAM) technology in the right way are promised big rewards. However, CIOs and decision makers need to gain perspective on IAM implementation and make sure that their approach is progressive to get the best out of their IAM investment.
A though through strategic implementation of IAM technology can make all the difference to your business.
Here are the things IT decision makers need to keep in perspective when they are at the stage of making IAM technology a part of their IT Ecosystem.
Anticipating the Scale of Preparation it Demands
Planning for Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity
Creating an Environment Conducive to Smooth Implementation
Plan for Long-Haul is a thing of the past
Involve Subject Matter Experts
CIOs first IAM implementation is often overlooks the need for expert intervention. While it may come across as a big deal project, amount of preparation, strategic focus and right ground work is brought about through subject matter experts.
Two biggest challenges that businesses tend to face during implementation is:
1. Defining the right business processes around IAM. It includes defining right access policies, applications to be synced with the system, finding the right fit – whether cloud or on premise solution.
2. Effectively cleaning up all the data, doing away with redundancies in information repository. Merely cleansing up Data takes up as much as 60% of IAM pre-implementation task.
Before you implement any IAM strategies, it is important that you have in place a decent business continuity plan that helps seamless operations even during interruptions. To be able to appropriately define business processes all the internal stakeholders are expected to bring out intuitive knowledge that may have been stored up for years together. Since workflows tend to be distributed across various departments and people, exposing them appropriately may take a lot of probing. Define the right workflows and business rules with an aim to streamline processes and reduce errors as far as possible.
When implementing IAM it is important that you don’t just start with the implementation process. It is imperative to invest significant time and resources in creating a single authoritative source for all your internal and external stakeholders such as employees, vendors and end customers accessing your systems. This may also require for you to create a logical database.
Next, find a way to connect the IAM technology with all the applications your business currently uses. This is much easier than choosing to write scripting languages and adapters for every application you intend to integrate into the new system. Many businesses choose to create identity repositories to simplify this process.
Even if it is a complex product, a quick solution can be implemented and later on important fixes can be made. Businesses that aren’t prepared for the long haul tend to be frustrated and disappointed with the entire exercise. Short term plans are good and attends to impending uncertainty. While it is believed that IAM implementation is complex and difficult process, cloud based IAM solutions are a quick, value for money, scalable deal. It is getting easier to implement multiple number of applications and platforms to integrate into the workflow system, the more complex the time consuming the process is. An effective way is to pursue IAM implementation in stages. It is recommended to start with the online system and the CRM and then move on the other functions such as the HR and accounting systems by defining more rules as and when you begin to achieve the process flow you aimed for.
Many businesses assume that with a proactive CIO and decently sized IT team they are equipped to pursue this implementation in-house. But IAM being a niche technology, it does not work with just an IT resource. In addition to bringing expertise of IAM subject matter experts, project managers also need Value-Added Reseller and vendor support. If your system is poorly designed, your business will essentially be risking all of its data. That said, don’t rely entirely on outside help. It is important that the right people from within your organization also actively participate in the entire implementation process. IAM System Integrators are not able to dig deep enough without the help of a dedicated in-house staff that works well with the team responsible for the implementation. It is ideal to have staff that is already proficient with the platform your implementer uses.
Finally, you also want to make sure that you get enough support from the upper management and decision makers. In addition to your CIO or CTO also involve the high-level executives from other functions such as financial, legal, HR, operations and architecture to make sure that all the expectations are well managed and communicated. Discussing the IAM strategy with these heads is a great way to acquire critical insights on compliance, need to leverage metrics and data, simplification of identities and eventually facilitating federation.