Stakeholder engagement is arguably the most important component of a successful Identity Management project.
Identity Management (IAM) programs often originate within the IT security function when the need arises to automate routine user administration tasks, support audit and compliance requirements, and integrate with key systems. Because of this, IAM programs are often approached as technical deployments. However, the truth is that few IT projects have such far-reaching scope as IAM, which touch stakeholders across all business domains. This breadth of IAM’s reach also gives rise to competing business goals and conflicting agendas; in other words, politics.
Successful IAM projects rely on input from a range of stakeholders to identify requirements and integrate processes and data to drive the desired outcomes. People will only provide this valuable input if they are engaged. Stakeholder engagement is arguably the most important component for a successful Identity Management project, and yet organizations often treat stakeholders as an afterthought. In order to win executive buy-in, the IAM team needs to build momentum by crafting wins that align with key business drivers.
To build confidence in your IAM program, it is important to spend time at the beginning of the project to assess the current state, identify key pain points for the organization, document business drivers, and develop an implementation plan or IAM roadmap. The process of talking with stakeholders, listening to their issues, and identifying opportunities where IAM can deliver value is critical to success.
So, how do we influence business stakeholders to support the IAM program?
Take Human Resources (HR) as an example. No IAM project can be successful if HR is reluctant to support necessary process changes, data quality initiatives, and integrations. The key to aligning your IAM program with HR is to understand HR’s objectives and show how the IAM solution can deliver value. The first question to ask is, “What are HR’s goals and how can Identity Management add value?”
HR GOAL: Improve the employee onboarding experience
IAM VALUE: Identity Management can automate the provisioning of network access, physical access, workstations, key applications, file shares, office space, and more. This makes new users more productive on Day 1 by giving them what they need to start work without having to request access. IAM takes the pain out of the onboarding process.
HR GOAL: Meet employee learning and development objectives
IAM VALUE: Identity Management systems can integrate with Learning Management Systems to track training completion, allow or deny access based on a user’s current certification levels, and support reporting requirements.
HR GOAL: Improve efficiency in managing workers
IAM VALUE: Automation of user administration tasks and the elimination of data entry between systems reduces errors, eliminates re-work, and allows HR and IT staff to do more with less.
HR GOAL: Provide detailed reporting
IAM VALUE: IAM offers a range of employee and contractor data to provide additional insight into each worker’s current status (Active, Leave, Legal Hold, Terminated) and their access to information and systems in the organization.
Because Identity Management programs have such far-reaching scope, every business unit stands to benefit from a successful IAM deployment. It’s imperative to engage your stakeholder community early in the planning process to identify and prioritize opportunities across business units. When these opportunities are identified, documented, and organized in a cohesive plan, it reduces the chance of new requirements popping up late in the game and derailing the process. More importantly, it socializes the benefits of the IAM program and generates executive buy-in by demonstrating value to the business.
The challenge for IT is that the needs of any given business unit will nearly always supersede innovation, and securing resources for new IAM projects can be a hard sell. The IAM team may feel isolated, but they cannot afford to pursue ideas that are not aligned with the goals of the business. It is important to remember that your role and ideas may feel disruptive to the status quo. If the project objectives are aligned with business drivers, you will be able to overcome objections by creating a shared vision for the future.
Time is a scarce resource for the C-Suite. IAM Roadmaps make the most of this time by providing the content that executives appreciate the most. Learn more about an IAM Roadmap.
How to Secure Funding for Your IAM Project
One challenge almost all IT organizations face is how to get funding to build and mature their Identity Management (IAM) solution. While the technical ins and outs are well understood by IT departments, there is often a gap communicating the promise of IAM to business stakeholders in terms that are compelling. If you want to secure funding for your IAM project, register today for our October 24th webinar How To Secure Funding for your Identity Management Program.
In this webinar, Hanno Ekdahl, Founder of Idenhaus Consulting (and author of this post), will take you through the essentials of the fundraising process. If you are interested in securing IAM funding for your project, this webinar is a great opportunity to get an experienced perspective and to get your questions answered.
Can’t make this webinar on the scheduled day? No worries! Register anyway to receive the link to the webinar recording and listen later at your convenience.
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