Identity and Access Management is fast becoming a strategic, enabling technology for business and government. With today’s business landscape filled with identity fraud and security risks, a well thought-out and effectively delivered IdM program is becoming critical to meeting business needs.
An IAM strategy directs an real-world IAM program and the strategy must be driven by business needs if it is to be accepted. There are many potential roadblocks to IAM projects — cost, complexity, resource priorities, perceived value, etc. — and the strategy is an effective way of removing these obstacles.
So what are the business drivers that need to be considered in an IAM strategy? Here are four things:
- Compliance — Whether it be regulatory compliance, government internal policy or legal restrictions, both private and public-sector organizations must be compliant with privacy and security regulations. For example, privacy needs of both the identities being managed and the sensitivity of the information being protected must be considered. IAM supports compliance in many ways, from suitably protecting access to information assets to providing an audit trail should security be breached.
- Competitive Advantage — IdM allows businesses to deliver better services to their customers. With a comprehensive IAM solution in place, companies can better identify and manage their users’ electronic identities. This in turn allows for a greater depth of online service offerings. For example, a bank that offers strong authentication, real-time layered security and robust auditing can better support customers who want to conduct high-value transactions online. Obviously, these customers are high-value themselves.
- Partnering — Federated identity solutions allow for greater integration between business partners. Single sign-on (SSO) and automatic provisioning are just two ways for partnering companies to securely share identity information. Users in each organization benefit from increased access to information with much lower administrative friction.
- Reduced Costs — All businesses are looking to identify ways to reduce or avoid future costs. IAM offers high return on investment, particularly for larger organizations with complex needs. For example, Passlogix’s ROI is high given savings in help desk services (fewer password resets), increased user productivity (via reduced or single sign-on) and the product’s ability to easily integrate with legacy systems.