Identity management is the discipline of managing the identity life cycle of entities (subjects or objects) and their digital interactions with an organization. Identity management encompasses the policies, standards, processes, and technology solutions needed to enable the increasing virtualization of business transactions.
eMentum's Approach To Identity Management
The discipline of identity management (IdM) has emerged because of the challenges organizations are facing handling the proliferation of user accounts, and user profiles required for internal employees, as well as external customers and suppliers.
eMentum focuses on solving these problems. We focus on the people conducting the administrative functions, the processes used across the organization, and technology solutions that can streamline Identity Administration.
The Need For Identity Management
- Administer user identity and access controls within an organization
- Eliminate the need for duplicate processes for vetting individuals, administering passwords, and multiple logins to access different applications
- Increase access to data and systems from outside the organization
Identity management cuts across the organization with many stakeholders; therefore, cross-organizational governance and strong program management are fundamental to a successful identity management initiative. eMentum’s approach begins with a strategy for incorporating policies, standards, processes, and technology solutions to manage identity information across and outside the enterprise.
eMentum’s comprehensive identity management approach addresses management, administration, authentication, authorization, and auditing/reporting.
If an organization thinks of IdM as a technology issue – rather than a process, policy, and governance issue – it is unlikely to select a solution that will support future business processes and workflow.
eMentum understands that identity is a strategic asset, as it is the basis for access to critical business information and services. It cuts across the organization and affects all business units. eMentum’s Identity management approach incorporates a strong governance model with participation from key stakeholders across the enterprise, and strong business sponsorship to effect collaboration and consensus.
Three Critical Mistakes
- Thinking of identity management as a technology issue only
- Assuming the "authoritative source" is one monolithic repository
- Taking on too much at first
IdM projects frequently force significant business process changes and functional reorganizations across business units. This can make the projects politically challenging and costly – making executive commitment essential. The technology is a way to automate the business processes. Organizations that start with technology – without an understanding of their business processes or options for simplifying the processes -- are not ready for a technology solution. Even when organizations are selecting technology, it is critical to pick a package that supports the future business processes and workflow.
If an organization sees the directory as the answer to an authoritative identity source, it risks subjecting the directory to queries and reports by other applications, thereby slowing performance. eMentum understands that the authoritative identity source and the directory have different purposes. The directory is used for authentication of users to the network and e-mail, while the authoritative identity store is the origination point – the trusted source for identity elements. Another common mistake is to think of the authoritative source as one monolithic repository. In reality, it may make more sense to settle on multiple repositories. The important thing is to build and enforce business rules that establish authoritative sources and maintain them.
If an organization takes on too much at first, it may not have the immediate success needed to "sell" a solution that is seen as costly, or is launching in a politically sensitive environment.
eMentum keeps IdM solutions simple and grounded in realistic, attainable goals. We ensure that we understand the overall landscape, but break the project into achievable pieces, beginning with a department or application team that is open-minded to IdM and is interested in participating.
We use that initial project to develop shared services, re-usable materials, and lessons-learned to leverage for future projects.
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