There are many different products on the market to assist with identity and access management (IAM) issues from a multitude of vendors, however, it is often difficult to know which solution your organization needs, if any at all. Each organization is different and so are their needs in terms of software and technology solutions. Organizational leaders should first take a look through the following list to see which areas of their account and password management they may need help with. All of these issues have IAM solutions that can help resolve these problems.
So what are the areas that your organization should look at to evaluate their account and password management? Here is a list of just a few.
How many applications do end users log into each day and what are the password policies for these applications?
If your employees are logging into upwards of even four applications each day they are probably having password issues. Needing to enter credentials several times each time a system needs to be accessed can be inefficient, especially for employees who directly help customers. Anything that interferes with the customer service process can be an issue.
Does your organization have a password policy in place for each of the applications that employees log into? Does this policy require complex passwords for each set of credentials? If you answered yes, the added security is nice, of course, but this might actually be hindering the security of the company’s network. Think of what you do when you can’t remember all of your passwords, which are uniquely different? You either write them down, or you are constantly resetting them. Both of these are password issues.
How many calls does your helpdesk get, and are there any repeating requests?
The next thing to consider is how large your helpdesk staff is and how many calls they are receiving. If you have a small helpdesk that is overwhelmed with calls, there are ways to drastically reduce this issue. Many companies have a few, if any, dedicated helpdesk employees, and certain issues are very prevalent. One of the most common is for password resets. While this is a very easy issue to fix, if your company is receiving a great deal of these requests then they should look into a way to resolve this issue.
This is also true of other issues. Do employees frequently request access to different resources? This frequent request can also be drastically reduced.
How much time is spent on creating and managing accounts and how many employees does it take to do this?
When a new employee starts at the organization they — of course — need accounts and access created for them in many different systems and applications. Does someone in your company manually create these accounts? If so, how long does it take them and how many employees need to work on this task?
If there is also frequent movement in your company your account admin is probably spending a great amount of time creating and changing accounts. All of this work might be taking several employees a great deal of time, which they could be spending on other more technical tasks.
How long does it take for a new employee to be up and running with all of the accounts they need?
Often, account management can interfere with the productivity of your employees. Think of an employee’s first day with the organization. Are they sitting around waiting for all of their accounts to be created? How long does it typically take for an employee to begin work? In many cases, new employees are left unproductive for several days until all accounts are created for them. This is because an admin needs to manually create the correct accounts for the new employee.
Is there any waste in terms of accounts that could be eliminated?
Though everything might be running smoothly and there are no major issues with account or password management at your organization it is also important to look at waste. One major source of budget waste is for accounts in the network that are no longer active. Often companies pay a large sum of money for licenses to different systems and applications for their employees. With no one monitoring these licenses, they are often infrequently used, if at all, leading to the company throwing money away each month. Even worse, these licenses are often left active for employees who are no longer with the organization.
Identity and Access Management Solutions
If you checked off yes for any of these issues, then perhaps some type of account and password management solution would be helpful for your organization.
One solution is to automate your account management, which allows administrators to easily and efficiently streamline the management of employee accounts. Solutions such as these connect a source system, typically Human Resources, to all of the organizations applications, so that when a change is made in the source, it is automatically reflected in the connected systems. So for example, a new employee needs accounts in Gmail, Zendesk and SAP. A system admin easily adds the employee to the source system, checks off these three applications and accounts are automatically generated. This allows not only accounts to be quickly created but also allows for employees to be up and running with everything they need on their first day at work.
This also allows for rapidly making any changes to accounts or disabling accounts. The admin simply makes any changes in the source system and the change is automatically reflected in all connected systems. This ensures that someone who is no longer working for the organization cannot access any of the applications or company data.
Many IAM solutions also allow for an overview of accounts, access rights and usage. This allows the organization to not only see exactly who has access to what, but what applications are being used for license counts. The organization can quickly see if they are paying for too many licenses and if the application is even being used.
Workflow management is another part of an account management solution that can be of assistance. If your organization is receiving a large number of requests to the helpdesk, or a manager, for access changes, a workflow can be easily set up. A workflow with an IAM solution allows an employee to submit a request, which is routed to the correct person, who can either accept or deny the request. If accepted, the access will automatically be provisioned. This streamlines the process and eliminates a great deal of calls for access changes.
What about the password issues? There are several solutions that can reduce the password headache for the helpdesk and for end users. If your helpdesk is overwhelmed with password reset calls, a self-service password reset solution will allow users to easily reset their own passwords without needing to contact the helpdesk at all. Another simple solution, such as single sign-on for in-house and web applications, can also improve convenience for end users. A single set of credentials can be used for all applications so that employees can easily log in and assist customers greatly improving customer service.
These are only some of the issues that IAM solutions can assist with. Overall, these types of solutions can help with many different types of password and account issues that your organization might be encountering.