We’ve been working with most of the leading Identity Management/Provisioning tools since 2003. Most of the products have been acquired or rolled up into a larger suite of products. This process brought maturity, stability, and added investment to the industry. This helped the products and industry establish a place in the IT infrastructure that’s here to stay.
When we first meet with a prospective client we always ask the question, “What’s driving your need for provisioning?” Most organizations will talk first about audit compliance forcing these initiatives. And although this driver has finally elevated the effort to become a budget priority, the fact is that most companies wanted to do the project years ago simply to improve the overall security of the organization. And that can still be done pretty quickly.
So what if you’re one of those organizations that still can’t seem justify the project? Let me suggest you consider a streamlined, rapid approach that will enable you to realize value quickly — I mean in a matter of weeks vs. months or years!
Consider this rapid four-step approach:
1. Acquire a leading vendor solution (we can help educate you if you don’t know where to start). The products are more affordable than ever.
2. Integrate the product with only two systems to begin with — HR and Active Directory.
3. Using the provisioning solution, match up your AD accounts with your verified HR accounts. Any AD account that cannot be validated against an HR account should be disabled, removed or heavily scrutinized.
4. Begin driving daily employee HR changes into your AD environment to create, remove, or change privileges as appropriate.
This approach to beginning your provisioning project may seem overly simple, but it’s the best way to see value quickly and begin to gain momentum within your organization and among your budget stakeholders. You just realized a huge benefit by removing hundreds, if not thousands, of invalid accounts from your AD environment.
Too many companies have tried to deploy Identity Management/Provisioning with overly complex requirements. The projects lose momentum, never see production and eventually get dropped from the budget altogether. They never to get another shot at success and the product becomes shelf ware.
One more comment on selecting a software product — Please trust your systems integrator over a software vendor PowerPoint presentation. You can spend countless weeks or months evaluating, scoring, running proofs of concept, etc. But if you want to really move quickly, find a reputable systems integrator who has multiple long-term client references. Pick a product and move on down the road. All products are not created equal but a good systems integrator can simplify the tasks and get you realizing value from your investment sooner rather than later.