Why IDM is the Secret to Creating the Onboarding of the Future

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Automation is the key to making the onboarding process—a critical business process—work for your organization. But how do you decide what parts of the process are worth the effort to automate?

You start by making a list of the critical elements—access rights and assets—that employees and contractors need to start work. Not all departments will agree on what should be on this list. This is why centralized ownership of the business process is so important, for choices must be made, and a variety of systems will need to be connected. A global organization’s system must connect critical systems like Identity Management, Asset Management, Physical Security, and Badging. And some of these processes may have subprocesses. Depending on the size, scope, and role of Identity Management, for example, additional downstream systems may be affected, such as ERPs, existing proprietary systems, active directory systems.

Everything starts and ends with data, so designing a successful process requires a data map showing information flows. You must know where your data travels to make intelligent choices about what and how much to automate.

A data map can help identify existing systems that are good candidates for automation. For example, a mobile phone vendor may need information so employees can order a company phone, or a credit card vendor may need employee information to issue a company card; these types of systems should be automated.

Be deliberate about the automation choices you make. Automation makes more sense for some systems than others. Volume is not the only reason to put a system on the list of processes to be automated; little-used systems that are highly visible and consume a lot of attention are also good candidates for automation.

Business Rules

With an owner in place, stakeholders identified and engaged, and a list of critical systems to automate, the onboarding framework is nearly in place. The final item left to address has to do with business rules.

Business rules are the standards that control the onboarding process. These standards are developed based on specific situations or scenarios in the life of a worker. These include items such as:

  • Creation of an employee or contractor record
  • Termination of an employee or contractor record
  • Updates to an employee or contractor record
  • Conversion of a contractor record to an employee record
  • Retirement of an employee
  • Employee or contractor transfer
  • Employee or contractor manager change

Each worker should have a profile in the HCM that outlines the access they will need to specific systems to fulfill their job responsibilities. That list of needed access rights could be passed to other systems as a part of the business rules. Alternatively, a set of “birthright” applications could be identified—applications that every employee and/or contractor will need access to. These birthright applications could be automatically enabled with the creation of a new record.

Outlining all possible scenarios and establishing firm rules that can be programmed into the integrations will create an efficient, smooth-running on/offboarding process.Review the fundamentals of onboarding in our previous blogs Connecting Human Resource Process and Data to Identity Management and How to Connect HR Processes to Identity Management, Part 1.

Building the onboarding of the future takes real discipline and a willingness to change what isn’t working. To learn more about using Identity Management to drive digital transformation while securing your organization, register for our upcoming webinar!

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This article was co-written by Jeff Luther and Hanno Ekdahl

Learn how Identity and Access Management can help secure your organization in our new book, Reimagining Identity Management: How To Design, Choose And Implement The Right IAM Solution For Your Business.

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Photo credit: Flickr


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