Identity and Access Management (IAM) has gained new significance in the modern world, not only for security but also to measure, expand and enhance the services employees and customers use. IAM can enhance business value and performance, but consolidating it requires an SME’s touch with enterprise muscle from a vendor partner.
A username and password that unlocks the doors: this is the image that still dominates thinking about access management today. But it’s an outdated paradigm. The connected world has expanded what identity and access management can offer, said In4Group Director Vishnu Chinniah,”Identity is very important for security. Through access management, it can provide threat intelligence and prevention, and it can reduce the cost of breaches through improved forensic trails and audit findings. But access management has also become very useful for service deployments, better enrollment and better performance monitoring and management of the workplace.”
The golden thread of digital
Identity is as central to our digital world as to the real world. We naturally gravitate towards digital identities to consolidate our preferences. According to one security report, personal email accounts are registered to an average of over 100 different services.
There is immense capability inside a consolidated identity profile. Consider how useful a driver’s license is: it verifies identity, age and other credentials that in turn impact everything from buying a drink to applying for a bank account. A digital identity can have this same versatility if applied in a coherent way inside an environment such as a business.
“If your customer wants to access a self-service portal, that starts with access management,” said Chinniah. “If you start looking at access management as the keys to enabling digital interactions, then you can see its potential applications. Everything from an IoT sensor to making sure you have the right app on your laptop – these are policed and enhanced with access management.”
Modern businesses pair well with consolidated access management. Use cases include:
- Easy access of services to both staff and customers.
- Streamlined and automated enrollment of devices.
- Identity-centric security.
- Forensic trails.
- Analytics for building traffic and human traffic.
- Strengthen authentication without restricting productivity.
- Govern access for regulatory compliance.
- Make passwords secure and simple to remember.
- Control and monitor privileged users.
- Give users quick and secure access to the resources they need.
Consolidated digital identities are critical for realising many of the benefits in digital environments, particularly those with customer-centric business models.
IAM the personal touch
So why isn’t consolidated access management widespread yet? It’s not easy to accomplish. The average business employee has to manage 191 passwords due to the number of services and applications in an organisation that need access control. As a result, many organisations simply avoid the topic and stick to a simpler version of what digital identities can do, Chinniah explained:
“Typically, and as is the case in many organisations currently, if an environment consists of diverse environments and disparate systems – cloud computing, on-premise or legacy systems – each with its own access control, it is a challenge and the organisation finds itself performing many manual IAM interventions and manage each system separately which perpetuates silos.”
Consolidation is possible, but large solution providers often lack the flexibility and appetite to tackle such a nuanced transformation journey. SME providers are much better suited, providing they have the muscle to deliver enterprise-grade solutions. For example, In4Group leverages a framework developed by Axiz and Micro Focus to offer Micro Focus IAM solutions to the market.
“As an SME with an excess of 50 years of combined IT experience, we understand the importance of approaching IAM from a strategic and governance perspective rather than addressing it as a purely tactical issue,” said Chinniah. “Our approach is based on ensuring that the correct policies are in place within the organisation and that everyone is working together to achieve the desired governance. By leveraging the Axiz/Micro Focus framework, we’re able to deliver while keeping our operations agile, hungry and ready to walk the road with our customers.”
Modern Identity and Access Management doesn’t just put a doorman in front of services. It creates unity between them, drawn together by the thread of digital identity. Yet many organisations avoid such projects, fearing the difficulty of taming its many siloed access systems.
Don’t make that mistake: identity is core to customer-centric, digitally-powered experiences. With the personal focus from an SME, backed by enterprise-grade solutions for a top integrator-vendor alliance, using identity to create new organisational value is possible right now.