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Are You Maximizing Your IAM Investment? 

October 17, 2023

By Sandhya Sukumar 

In this era of evolving cyber threats, strengthening the IAM space is the top security goal for every organization. When IT leaders contemplate IAM solutions, their primary concern is alignment – ensuring that the IAM strategy not only addresses current cyber threats but also seamlessly aligns with compliance goals, budget constraints, and the overarching IT strategy, all while maximizing value.

Let's explore how organizations typically implement IAM solutions, the challenges they encounter in maximizing their effectiveness, and the proposed resolutions to address these issues.

A few of the popular IAM investment strategies considered by IT leaders are as follows :

  •  Best of Breed: Opt for the best technology solutions tailored to specific business needs, even if they come from different vendors, albeit with potential integration complexities.
  • Comprehensive Suites: Choosing a single vendor offering a broad spectrum of IAM capabilities for seamless integration and swift deployment, albeit with potential trade-offs in certain functionalities compared to best-of-breed alternatives.
  • Cloud-Based (SAAS / PAAS): Harnessing cloud services for reduced infrastructure costs, scalability, and flexibility, with considerations about subscription costs and control over compliance and security.
  • Open Source: Adopting a cost-effective strategy using free software code, while being mindful of limited support, documentation, and increased investments in developers, maintenance, and support.

Among these strategies, organizations most frequently opt for comprehensive suites, drawn by the advantages discussed above. However, they often fall short of fully utilizing the IAM platform's services, missing opportunities to enhance their security posture and unlock potential cost savings achievable through proficient IAM management. Moreover, in highly regulated industries, underutilization of IAM capabilities poses non-compliance risks and associated penalties.

Key Challenges in Underutilization of IAM Services in Comprehensive License Packages:

  • Complexity: The robust suite of services may prove intricate to comprehend and utilize, compounded by some features demanding laborious setup procedures that IT teams may circumvent with simpler alternatives.
  • Time Constraints: Implementing and managing all services within the IAM suite can consume substantial time, leading IT teams to prioritize other business tasks, resulting in certain features being unconfigured or underused.
  •  Lack of Expertise: A lack of training and knowledge in IAM tools often leads to the underutilization or neglect of certain features.
  •  Additional challenges encompass insufficient business support and inadequate funding for IAM solutions, often steering organizations toward tactical approaches instead of strategic ones.

Neglecting to maximize licensed IAM capabilities or enable additional features can have serious consequences, including persistent security vulnerabilities exposing organizations to cyber threats like unauthorized access and data breaches. These capabilities can streamline an organization's business and compliance processes, and underutilization can lead to inefficiencies during onboarding, authentication, access requests, provisioning, or compliance reviews.

Given the swiftly evolving digital landscape, maximizing your investment in Identity and Access Management (IAM) is no longer merely a strategic choice; it's an imperative. As we've explored the various IAM investment strategies and the challenges organizations face in fully harnessing these solutions, it becomes evident that success hinges on adopting a holistic approach.

Our experience collaborating with organizations has demonstrated that:

  • Embracing a Robust Identity Management and Governance Program: This involves establishing a comprehensive program that governs identity-related processes, policies, and controls to ensure efficient and secure management of identities and access within the organization.
  • Continually Assessing Program Maturity: Regularly evaluating the maturity of the Identity Management and Governance Program to identify areas of improvement and align the program with evolving organizational needs and industry standards.
  •  Establishing Clear Short and Long-Term IAM Roadmaps: Creating well-defined roadmaps that outline both short-term and long-term goals for identity and access management, providing a structured approach to achieving IAM objectives.
  •  Conducting Product Evaluations to Address Capability Gaps: This entails thorough assessments of IAM products and solutions in the market to identify those that best align with the organization's specific needs, security requirements, compliance standards, and efficiency goals.
  • Implementing Scalable Solutions: Deploying IAM solutions that are effective not only in the current context but also capable of scaling to accommodate the organization's evolving needs and complexity, ensuring long-term value and flexibility in IAM operations.

By following these strategic steps, organizations can tap into the full potential of their IAM investments, achieving heightened security, streamlined compliance, operational efficiency, and long-term adaptability in the ever-changing landscape of identity and access management.

So, the question remains: Are you maximizing your IAM investment? The answer lies in the strategies you adopt, your commitment to excellence within the Identity Management and Governance Program, the continuous measurement of program maturity, and the vision to fully leverage the power of the IAM program for the benefit of your organization's security, compliance, and overall success.

Contact Idenhaus Consulting today to take the first step in enhancing your IAM capabilities.

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