The challenge to successfully implement IT solutions that deliver their expected value to the organization is ongoing. According to an IBM study, only 40% of IT projects meet schedule, budget and quality goals. The root cause of this issue, according to the Project Management Institute, is a lack of alignment between the project and the overall business strategy. This lack of alignment is a key reason that Identity and Access Management (IAM) projects dramatically exceed their budgets and quite often fail. One of the key drivers here is that organizations often act like their own IT department is actually some separate group in Siberia. This lack of integration makes it difficult for IT to engage the business, understand what it needs, and deliver value.
So, how can we approach IAM projects better?
The simplest and most effective way to link your business strategy with your IAM program is to build a solution roadmap, which lays out your plan for the next 1 to 2 years. The process to create a roadmap requires input from both technical and business stakeholders and makes the implicit explicit.
What are some key benefits of developing an IAM roadmap?
- Roadmaps link the organization’s strategy with product and technology decisions. It also forces IT to get specific with respect to the planned initiatives and the value delivered to the business.
- Roadmaps provide a guide for implementation that calls out downstream dependencies and allows the organization to recognize and act on events that require a change in direction.
- Most importantly, the roadmap communicates the solution plans across both business and IT stakeholders. It serves as a tool to build a common understanding and shared ownership of the plan.
- The roadmap also give the organization more flexible deployment options that allow it to understand the trade-offs if current events require a change in direction.
Keep in mind that tools/ platforms/ engines come and go, but the strategic roadmap keeps the organization focused on the outcomes needed to achieve business success. It’s much easier to pick the best IAM product once we understand the strategy piece. This also helps us integrate the tool in such a way as to be able to pull it out at the appropriate time, without having to rebuild the entire platform; an idea that offers some serious benefits. Monolithic Identity Management technologies are giving way to a blend of solutions working together to solve discreet identity and security problems.
So, is there a business strategy around your Identity Management program?
Photo Credit: Marcus Ramberg