Why an IAM Assessment is the Secret to Success

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Identity & Access Management (IAM) solutions are valuable tools for automating routine administrative IT tasks, enhancing security, and managing cybersecurity risk. However, simply implementing Identity Management technology is not a silver bullet that magically fixes all of an organization’s issues. Organizations need to take proactive measures to align their processes, policies, and data quality in order to take full advantage of the value and functionality an IAM system can deliver. This is a complex project and many organizations fail to successfully implement identity management the first time. Implementations fail for many reasons: stakeholders are not engaged early and often, future state processes are not defined to work with the new technology, underlying data quality is poor, and key business requirements are missed. As a result, the IAM solution fails to deliver value to the business. 

So, how does an organization recover from an underperforming or failed project, or, better yet, succeed the first time out of the gate?

The first step towards a successful IAM implementation is a comprehensive Identity Management Assessment to identify any issues with the solution architecture, business processes, data quality, and core requirements. By conducting a thorough assessment, issues can be identified and prioritized up front, enabling the implementation roadmap to address and resolve the challenges in an orderly fashion.

Here are 7 key areas to consider when assessing an Identity & Access Management program.

1. Corporate Architecture Assessment 

Ensure that the systems, processes, and applications are integrated properly to manage user access, protect your information, and address potential IT security risks. 

2. HR Connector Review

Assess IAM requirements against the HRIS system and its capabilities. The goal is to understand HR policies and processes for managing internal users and to identify which attributes are mandatory to create a functioning identity. In addition, it is important to determine if and when these attributes are available, to document data standards, and to evaluate how HR processes will drive downstream access. For example, what happens when a worker goes on leave?

3. Evaluate Data Quality

Data quality needs to be evaluated across HR, IAM, Enterprise Directories, and other Systems of Record. 

4. Business Process Assessment 

Most organizations implement IAM to improve security posture and the efficiency and effectiveness of managing user access. In order to create tangible value and visible wins, it’s vital to determine whether your business processes are aligned with your chosen technology, and to determine how those processes need to change to take advantage of the IAM technology’s functions and features. Automating bad business processes only delivers bad results, faster. 

5. Policy Review 

A policy review is necessary to ensure security policies are well-defined and aligned with organizational security objectives.

6. Best Practices/Recommendations

An actionable assessment should provide tailored actions to address the most pressing issues preventing project success.

7. Develop a Roadmap 

The most important output of an IAM Assessment is the development of an actionable plan to address challenges, assign resources, and prioritize work. This plan is delivered in the format of a project roadmap, which structures solution development (resources, dependencies, cost, timelines) and becomes the organizing principle that drives the program forward. A successful roadmap communicates the project schedule and identifies how and when issues with data, governance, process, and policy will be addressed. More importantly, it drives alignment across business and IT stakeholders.

They say insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. While it may feel better to build something first without investing in up-front planning (Assessment, Strategy/Roadmap), it usually leads to a bad outcome. Having the discipline to understand the Current State environment first will allow you to build a Future State solution that delivers.

If you’re not sure where to start, an IAM Assessment and Roadmap will allow you to get your bearings and define a path forward. These efforts can provide leadership with insight on how to make an IAM solution deployment work for the entire organization and help get key stakeholders aligned with the direction and timing of your implementation program.

Our IAM Assessment and Roadmap has many benefits including the validation of program’s maturity and effectiveness as well as the identification of new business opportunities in the company’s IAM program by a recognized leader in identity management. Click here to get started today.

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Learn more about how to design, choose, and implement the right IAM solution for your business in our digital book Reimagining Identity Management in the Digital WorldClick here for a free copy.

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