Prevent Identity Management Disaster with a Process Analysis

September 26, 2018

process analysis (2)

For many organizations, the operational burden of managing IT systems on a day-to-day basis prevents the IT department from implementing highly strategic projects. The mandate to innovate in the face of a business that demands 24/7 availability is challenging at best.

These operational pressures impact Identity Management (IAM) implementations, which are often seen as a “product install” instead of the complex, strategic engagements that they really are. This mindset often means that IAM implementations are short on analysis, quick on deployment, and thus often fail to deliver value to the business in any significant way. Indeed, it is estimated that more than half of all IAM implementations fail the first time.

In order to address this issue, and make IT more integral to its business a methodical approach to IAM implementations is required. Organizations can make great progress with an analysis and planning phase that focuses on core business processes and how they tie into the proposed IAM solution. It is these processes that drive the identity lifecycle and their maturity provides the degree of assurance to which the business can attest that an individual is who he or she purports to be. Thus, a key driver of IAM solutions is the processes for managing the user lifecycle for employees, partners, customers, and other stakeholders. Understanding these processes will reduce the likelihood of missed requirements and ensure that the technology works well with business operations.

“If you can't describe what you are doing as a process, you don't know what you're doing.” ― W. Edwards Deming

A good starting point is to analyze current state processes to identify existing capabilities and pain points. Once the current process is understood, it’s time to develop the desired future state processes that will be enabled by the IAM solution. As part of this effort, the business should look for issues and define a plan to address any gaps. Process analysis begins with understanding the core business processes that drive Identity Management:

  • Onboarding (Joiners),
  • Modifications (Movers), and
  • Off-boarding (Leavers).

One of the major benefits of this approach is that the IT department drives alignment between the IAM solution and business objectives. Further, since processes are the focus there is an implicit requirement for the business and IT to collaborate to discuss and document the current state. Here are 8 items to look out for during the process analysis:

  1. Sequence of events
  2. Dependencies on other systems (e.g. recruiting, credentialing)
  3. Data Requirements & Quality (e.g. minimum data set to create a user record)
  4. Process Bottlenecks
  5. Process Workarounds
  6. SLAs
  7. Use Cases
  8. Process exceptions

Once complete, the IT function is now mindful of business requirements that were identified during the analysis and can provide a supporting IAM infrastructure that is flexible and will scale according to business demands. The end goal is that the business is able to free up resources to focus on more value-added aspects of the IT function that add competitive advantage to the business.

IAM deployments can be complicated, involving people, processes, and technology across the entire business. Join Idenhaus founder Hanno Ekdahl for an interactive and informative webinar on Friday, October 26, 2018, at 12 PM EST. He will provide expert insight on topics like:

  • How to conduct a successful assessment of your processes

  • Identifying process gaps and avoiding common pitfalls

  • Best practices in process alignment for a successful IAM deployment

Click here to register for our upcoming webinar Successfully Integrating HR Processes with Identity Management.


Also, download my digital book now, for free: Reimagining Identity Management: How To Design, Choose And Implement The Right IAM Solution For Your Business.


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