• David Remington

How to simplify and supercharge your business with automating the identity lifecycle

How to simplify and supercharge your business with automating the identity lifecycle

It’s in every business’ interest to bring the best technology and time/money-saving techniques to their company. The staff will love you for it, and the senior managers will be happy that their budget sheets are looking positive for once.

This is where automation can fit in. By automating the mundane tasks and timely lifecycles, which take up a lot of valuable resource, time and money, this frees up experts to spend their time doing what they’re best at, and increasing the revenue opportunities for their business. In ITs case, this frees up the IT leaders to work on more advanced IT programs, in turn propelling their company forward, with the use of improved technology.

If you’re seeing a drop in productivity and efficiency, you may have an identity problem. Actually, it’s an identity lifecycle problem to be specific. What you need is to automate how users are created in all your IT systems, how identity and access is managed as users change roles and how you handle the clean-up after users leave.

There are 5 main reasons why you should make an investment in a serious tool to automate identity lifecycle and provisioning.

Adding users to applications is time-consuming

It’s timely to add users to existing programs. This could take around 30 minutes per request. In a big company, that adds up to a huge amount of man-hours. You might not just be giving access to systems such as Box or Google Drive to employees, but also to contractors and partners, as well as agencies and clients.

And what if these people also need to have their access revoked - maybe they’ve left, or had their security permissions lowered? More time for you to work on their permissioning!

Outdated HR processes

How does HR tell IT that a new employee has joined? Many companies do this over email. Some via a phone call. Either way, it’s a lot of manual work for IT.

If you get a CSV file with changes from HR, and you’ve written scripts to process it and add users to Active Directory, then you might be slightly ahead of the game. But you probably have to go back and update those scripts every 6 months when vendor APIs change. Also, the software, which is running on a server, has to be kept secure and up-to-date. Something you might be trying to avoid as you leverage the cloud.

Different processes for different teams

With one team using Skype, another on Slack, and a third on Hangouts, how do you monitor usage, permissioning and security, and ensure that business protocol is being followed on all platforms? It’s hard, it takes time, and it is unnecessary. You can’t manage this process in an excel spreadsheet, so empower business teams to do more - they know who should have what access, and why. Lighten your load!

Setting up devices and getting access is hard!

It’s great having all of these niche programs, but when it takes users far too long to get permissions to use them, or help setting them up, it becomes a less viable option. Users also don’t want to wait forever to get access. If you know you need an app to get work done, every minute you don’t have that app is painful. Automating this process with some lightweight application approval workflow can work wonders.

Security. Security. Security.

So you don’t have full control over business apps, but you still need to control the security. How does that work!? Rather than a manual audit process, automate the discovery of user accounts in all your applications, and remediate access by enforcing the right accounts and entitlements if you find there has been any “drift” in accounts.

With cloud-first and mobile-first IT on the rise, there has been a massive rise in how IT organisations have changed recently. Instead of having to push back on various issues, the IT leaders among us can now say ‘yes!’ to a lot more than they previously could.

There’s still a challenge around continuing to drive efficiency for users, so that they can take advantage of all technology available, whilst keeping your company secure.

But how can this be done?

Okta is the identity management foundation for a cloud-centric IT architecture that enables you to take the lead in adopting new applications and enabling mobile for your organisation to drive growth. Instead of depending on manual processes, Okta enables your IT leaders to say yes to more of what the business wants, get out of maintenance mode, strengthen security and delight your end users.

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