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3 things every CIO has to get right about identity

  • Posted on December 2, 2019
  • Estimated reading time 4 minutes

The 30,000-foot view of identity and access management (IAM) is crystal clear.

As enterprises expand their digital boundaries, the old approaches to protecting data behind firewalls are no longer enough. In their place, identity has become the new perimeter – and zero trust the new guiding principle – for a modern solution.

But, perhaps it’s time to bring this 30,000-foot view a little closer to Earth. What exactly is a modern IAM solution? How is it built? How do enterprises do it, the right way, the first time? These are a few of the questions I’ve been working on as I put together my keynote for Saviynt Converge 2019 in Las Vegas, a major annual event for security and identity professionals.

  1. The right identity solution begins with the right platform
    I’ve started to conceptualize modern IAM as a three-layered solution. The first of which is arguably the most understood and most adopted. It is the platform.

    The platform is where IAM lives. It is the system of record, the identity keeper, the rule book. It is the list of access, dictating what gets shared, with whom and when. It is made up of multiple pieces of technology and capabilities, essential to the modernization of identity and access. Think Azure Active Directory, Identity-as-a-Service for a multiplicity of cloud applications, single-sign on, multi-factor authentication, and mobile device management (MDM).

    When done right, an identity platform provides a centralized, powerful toolset for IT to support and sustain rapid expansion into the cloud, while making it easy for users to collaborate and access information, both inside and outside the organization.


  2. It’s all made possible with the right governance
    If the platform is where your IAM strategy exists, governance is how you make it work.

    In simpler times, governance was done manually. If a user needed access to an application, they could fill out a form and send it to IT and wait for the greenlight. Today that approach is simply impossible. The modern enterprise -- most likely amid a digital transformation effort, with thousands of apps on prem and in the cloud, devices and cybersecurity threats -- needs a governance solution that is fast, but also accurate and reliable.

    Which is why the right governance solution is automated and simple for end users and administrators to work with. It relies on intelligence, machine learning, self-service and other advanced features to make identity governance both faster and smarter. It treats governance like a proactive and evolving set of policies.

    Saviynt, for example, offers excellent one-click integration with platforms such as Azure AD. It helps IT by bringing visibility into users and their access to various cloud and enterprise applications, intelligently applying rules based on compliance needs and risk assessment. And it makes good access easier to manage with intuitive “Netflix style” interfaces, for end users and admins.


  3. It's all done with the right guidance
    Best practices and new technologies are of no value if an enterprise cannot put them into play, the right way, the first time. With identity platform and governance, enterprises are increasingly leaning on experienced partners to help them speed to market a validated solution.

    In fact, according to Gartner’s most recent Magic Quadrant on Identity Governance and Administration (IGA), “organizations almost always require assistance from system integrators for deployment of IGA solutions.”

    This is where an enterprise might start to look for a partner such as Avanade. From configuring and managing a secure identity platform, to enabling and guiding organizations to adopting critical lifecycle and entitlement management capabilities, an IGA partner can leverage their experience and expertise to design, implement and manage a holistic identity solution, quickly and effectively.

Let’s keep up the conversation
I’m looking forward to sharing these ideas at Saviynt Converge ‘19. Not only do I get to share the stage with some of the brightest minds in the business, but I get to keep the conversation going with my peers and real IT leaders, struggling as well with these same questions.

If you have some thoughts, please drop a comment below, or better yet, join us at the event.

Learn more about Avanade’s security solutions, including our holistic IAM services.

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