There has been a great deal of growth in the identity and access management (IAM) industry recently, and the trend is predicted to remain steady for the foreseeable future. This has led many news outlets and organizations to take notice and focus on these solutions and exactly what they are. This buzz has many wondering why there is so much growth in a seemingly mature market.
There are some simple explanations for the growth. In the past, IAM projects have been a massive undertaking, which cost organizations a great deal of money and time to implement. The solutions were considered more of a luxury rather than a business necessity, which also is why they weren’t frequently implemented. But there are other reasons the solutions are seeing such huge growth, explained below:
Affordable One-stop Shop
First and foremost, over the past few years, identity and access management solutions have become much more affordable and configurable than they were even just five years ago. This has allowed organizations to reduce the upfront costs to implement, and also tailor the solutions so that they can receive the greatest benefit. This is primarily because many IAM solutions can now be implemented in a phased approach.
The phased approached allows organizations the ability to avoid the common issues with IAM solutions, cost and long implementation. A phased implementation allows them to take care of the biggest problems they face first then phase in components they consider to be secondary as their time and budget permits. It also means that they can pick and choose which modules they want to implement and in what order. This allows them to spread costs over a longer term. The module approach also drastically reduces the time to implement. Rather than months or years, IAM solutions can now be implemented in weeks.
In addition, organizations have a one stop shop for all of their organization’s needs. Many IAM software solutions now allow for a complete suite of modules to solve many of the organization’s issues. As mentioned earlier, the solutions can also easily be configured to meet the individual needs of the client’s environment. These IAM solutions are now able to handle a multitude of tasks in each application. In addition to the common tasks, such as automating the creation, modification, or deletion of accounts, they can handle more advanced tasks like wiping mobile phones, editing groups or attributes, assigning phone extensions and so forth. Even further, in addition to all of the functions that they can perform, these IAM solutions can be paired with other helpful solutions, such as password management software such as single sign-on or self-service password reset to solve additional password issues.
Benefits to the Organization
Another reason there has been a huge growth in the IAM market is because organizations are seeing the great benefits these solutions provide. Many organizations are now realizing that automation is more of need rather than a want. Organizational leaders have realized that any process that is manual leads to a significant potential for errors and inefficiencies.
IAM solutions allow organizations to first and foremost automate many mundane processes. Automated account management allows system admins to easily create, modify or disable user accounts with one simple change in the source system, usually HR. This change is then automatically carried out to all connected systems, thus eliminating an account admin needing to manually create accounts or changes in each separate system or application. This drastically reduces error, improves process time, and allows for any account creation, deletion or change to quickly and efficiently be carried out.
Organizations have also seen the immense benefit of self-service modules. One example of this is a self-service workflow. This type of module allows users go to an internal company website and request what they need, whether that be access to an application, a name change, mailbox, distribution list or anything else. A workflow is set up so that when a user requests a change, the request then goes through a predefined sequence of people who need to approve it before the change is implemented. The organization can set up the workflow process however they want so that depending on the user and what they request, the process goes through specific steps. There is no need for the employee to bother their manager to check on the request. They can easily access the web portal and see exactly where the request is and what steps still need to be completed.
Overall, the growth in the IAM industry is obvious. In addition to being extremely to the solutions being extremely helpful with enhancing security and efficiency at an organization, these solutions have become much more budget friendly and easier to implement. This is why it is easy to understand why the industry has become so popular and the solutions so widely used.
[su_box title=”About Avishai Wool” style=”noise” box_color=”#336588″]Dean Wiech is managing director of Tools4ever US, a division of the global provider of identity and access management solutions.[/su_box]