A Step-by-Step Guide to Maximizing your IGA Program

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Safeguarding sensitive data and ensuring seamless access to resources for the workforce has long been a struggle for businesses. Digital transformation, increasing complexity of IT environments, and the frequency and sophistication of cyber threats, has only made this worse. As such, it’s time for leaders to get serious about their identity governance and administration (IGA) programs.

An effective IGA program empowers enterprises to find the balance between providing employees with the right access privileges and protecting against unauthorized or malicious activities. But factors like remote work, job hopping, and reliance on more business applications than ever before, the intricacies of managing identities has become more complex.

Here are several ways modern organizations can maximize their IGA program to move beyond simply a compliance tool, and enhance security, productivity, and the overall success of your business.

Put Internal Customers First

Successful access review and access request programs require all knowledge workers to engage with a company’s identity solution. But multiple, siloed portals and processes can get confusing. As a result, users will default to workarounds like spreadsheets, email, and rubber stamp approvals out of frustration.

Prioritize solutions that the users don’t even know exist—ones that work behind the scenes, within existing workflows to improve adoption and ease-of-use. Your internal customers are your most important ones, so making sure the user experience (UX) is optimal for both end users and administrators is vital for a successful IGA program.

Automate Governance

The average business uses 371 SaaS applications (Productiv). The role of IGA is to maintain security and minimize risk of said apps. Yet, few outside large enterprise apps have full connectors to bring them into the IGA solution. Instead, they are managed via IT Service Management (ITSM) processes. In other words, it’s a disjointed user experience (UX) that leaves workers confused and security gaps open.

Automating IGA tasks can help streamline efforts to ensure all applications are under governance in one single system or platform. By marrying IGA and ITSM, tech teams can bridge together once disconnected systems and better manage their enterprise applications. Automation can also facilitate consistent auditing of access providing governance across the entire ecosystem of applications and employees.

Take a Less is More Approach

Most enterprises rely on business and IT platforms to power their business. As such, they’re moving workloads, such as identity, SecOps, Integrated Risk Management (IRM), and HR, to the platform, too. This approach subscribes to the belief that no IT function should be on an island—and to be successful, needs to align with key workflows.

Using an IGA solution within your existing platform solution can streamline processes from employee onboarding and offboarding, to preparing for an audit, by simply extending existing workflows to include identity data and functionality. Aligning employees on a single platform provides a more secure and efficient approach to IGA, thus maximizing the initial platform investment and reducing cost.

Don’t Lose Flexibility in the Name of Security

Many identity vendors address the high cost of deployment and management by offering SaaS versions of their application. But these solutions lack feature parity with previous solutions, making them less customizable and functional. This leaves organizations with two options: change their processes to meet the new tool’s requirements or use an external system or process to govern apps, further complicating IGA efforts.

Alternatively, you could run your IGA program on your existing business platform, removing the need to choose between security, flexibility, and maintenance. This approach provides the benefits of an on-premises solution and an architecture built with security and UX in mind.

IGA can be a pain, or a business accelerator, streamlining productivity, reducing cost, and bolstering security. At a time when data is both a prized asset and a potential liability, IGA is the key to unlocking one and protecting the other. Implementing these four practices can go a long way in helping maximize your identity program and all the benefits that come with it.

John Milburn
John Milburn is Clear Skye’s CEO. On the pursuit to drive the company's vision into reality, John is dedicated to closing the value gap that has existed in the Identity Governance and Administration market for the last 20 years. With nearly three decades of enterprise software experience, John brings to the table a plethora of knowledge with a focus on security and identity management. Before joining Clear Skye, John held executive roles at renowned organizations, such as Quest Software, Dell, and most recently One Identity.

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