Transitioning to New Identity Management Solution

Digital business is placing unprecedented demand on identity services. Customer and workforce profile data is needed to drive most aspects of mobile, Web and Internet of Things (IoT) engagement and productivity. Yet, legacy identity and access management (IAM) systems and directory servers, most of which were built using technology from the 1990s, weren’t designed to handle these modern use cases.

The requirements for today’s identity and access management solutions are vastly different. In the past, IAM systems managed employee data and governed access to internal systems within well-defined firewalls. Today, IAM solutions must manage customer identity data collection, use and sharing in addition to workforce system access. Customer identity management is intricately tied to strategic business initiatives, and it necessitates an entirely different set of capabilities:

  • Handle identities and associated data at massive scale, often in the millions rather than thousands
  • Ensure strong data security in a complex ecosystem with multiple end points, varying regulatory policies and increased breach risks
  • Unify data from different silos into a holistic view of the customer
  • Drive consistent experiences by securely collecting and delivering data across multiple channels
  • Support the fast deployment of identity data-dependent new apps and services through APIs
  • Capture customer preferences and privacy consent and enforce it across all customer touch points to support personalized, one-to-one customer experiences
  • Enable compliance with data privacy regulations that vary by region, demographics and context
  • Support social login as well as adaptive and step-up authentication
  • Offer fine-grained data governance capabilities that defines the data that each application can access

These requirements place identity management at the center of the enterprise in ways we’ve never seen before. To meet the new criteria as well as gain performance and cost improvements over outdated technologies, many IT professionals are replacing their legacy directory servers and identity and access management systems with modernized IAM solutions. Some of these new platforms cover the full spectrum of workforce customer identity management requirements in addition to traditional workforce identity and access management capabilities.

No matter what solution you are evaluating and planning to implement, several best practices can help ensure a successful transition to the new system with minimal downtime and without jeopardizing the security and integrity of your data.

  • Bi-directionally sync data during the migration period
    Operate the old system and your new system simultaneously for a period of time before retiring the legacy directory server. This will ensure data is protected throughout the process. It requires the ability to synchronize the data bi-directionally in real-time.
  • Automate Migration of Schemas and Configurations
    In many cases, old and new systems will have different features and options. This can present a challenge when migrating legacy schemas and configurations. You can resolve any potential issues by using automation tools to map configuration settings and avoid manual application changes.
  • Avoid Application Service Disruptions During Migrations
    Isolate the application portfolio layer from any changes you are making to the directory server. You can accomplish this by routing application requests and LDAP clients to the new solution incrementally.

Change can be daunting, but approaching your directory server migration step-by-step, can help mitigate stress and pave the way for a smooth transition. The end result of having an identity and access management platform that can support digital business initiatives, enable workforce productivity, increase security and privacy and improve customer experiences will be well worth making the change.

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