Identity and access management (IAM) operations, from security to governance, require careful consideration, planning and execution to orchestrate them in unison with business objectives such as enhancing the customer experience (CX)
I know you’ve gone to significant extremes to keep your identity and access management operations running like a Tesla in Ludicrous Mode, but we know there’s always room for improvement. What about taking it to the next level by introducing an enterprise-grade IAM infrastructure that brings in organizational agility and sets the stage for automation? Yes, the death of Moore’s Law is already proving beneficial.
In a recent blog series, I help you set up a software factory for your world— Identity and Access Management operations. Here, I’ll summarize the posts that have already been published and give you a preview of the last two posts, which are coming soon.
Goal #1: Simplify Application Onboarding
We all know that enterprise-scale IAM operations involve much more than just onboarding identities and managing their lifecycle. IAM operations also entail aligning application onboarding to meet the demands of modern business and ensure better customer experience.
At the core of IAM ops is an IMAG solution, such as Layer7 Identity Suite, that is integrated with your applications, directories, and databases (also known as end points). From HR to commerce and everything in between, each identity has an associated entity in the form of a Layer7 Identity Suite application end point.
End point integration is called application onboarding, a process that involves understanding use cases and details required for integrating the application into your IAM framework. Doing this at an enterprise scale gets complicated: managing identities, accounts, and access for these applications and having proper governance creates silos in IAM operations that lead to non-compliance and indirect operations costs. So, our first goal toward a better customer experience is to simplify application onboarding.
Goal #2: Create an Enterprise IAM Framework
Next up is creating an enterprise IAM framework, which is the heart, soul, and brain of your software factory. What is the framework, exactly? It’s an organized and governed set of solutions, tools, integrations, and processes that comply with one or more defined regulatory standards to support your security and compliance needs. These needs include identity life cycle management, user information repositories, authentication, and authorization, and the framework should meet those needs without your having to deal with performance issues that impact your customer experience. The framework should also be simple and extensible, and it should support all types of users and their business needs as well as business and IAM operations.
Goal #3: Develop Standardized, Reusable Components
Simplified application onboarding and an enterprise IAM framework can’t by themselves provide the efficiency we seek. What’s missing? We need standardized, reusable components—a tremendously useful capability, akin to creating a portal and enchanting your inventory items in Minecraft to defeat the Ender Dragon. Put another way, having standardized reusable components makes your IAM factory agile and efficient. However, since they are more complex than cookie-cutter components, standard reusable components require proper planning, strategy, and investment in resources and funds. Surprisingly enough, many IAM stakeholders fail to leverage this goal. But one thing is for certain: in a medium to large IAM operations environment, not using standardized, reusable components becomes very expensive in the long term.
Goal #4: Make DevOps Agile
Taking inspiration from Elton John’s “This Train Don’t Stop There Anymore,” we need an agile train that keeps chugging, expanding the footprint of your world to as many applications, directories, and databases as possible and dealing with operational overheads like version control, upgrades, break fixes, enhancements, and releases. May the fourth (goal) be with you: agile DevOps. Stay tuned for more on this topic in my next post!
Goal #5: Automate, Automate!
The last aspect of an enterprise grade IAM infrastructure is automation that permits collaboration of software in support of business processes. While not everything can be automated right now, we must explore and implement automation wherever possible, for tasks such as monitoring, notifications, simple deployments, and simple defect resolutions. I’ll get back to you soon on this topic, too.
Until then, feel free to let me know if you have identified other goals for your IAM ops digital transformation journey
"This blog was originally published on the ca website at on 27th September 2018"