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By Simeio Solutions

Spotlight on Simeio’s May 20th “Ask Me Anything Coffee Talk Series”

Last Wednesday, Simeio held its most recent “Ask Me Anything Coffee Talk Series”. The topic was “Why do I need IAM? How do I get started? IAM for the Lost.” The session hosts were Vikram Subramanian, VP of Solutions at Simeio Solutions, and Anne Gorman, Sr. Information Architect at Campbell’s Soup. Here is a glimpse into the session.

What are the different practice areas within IAM?

Identity Access Management, or IAM, is completely focused around identity, including provisioning, which covers access management, single sign-on, and administration. It all has to do with user enablement to, as we say,” get in the door”. Meaning, a user with proper credentials, being allowed access to corporate systems and applications. 

As companies mature in their IAM deployments, they often incorporate a monitoring system that keeps an eye out, through identity access governance or IAG. Identity governance supports IT security and regulatory compliance, by utilizing centralized, policy-based orchestration, to manage user identities and credentials, and control their access. IAG encompasses all things identity, including IAM, directory services, security and risk intelligence, and cloud security. 

Where do I start with an IAM solution?

I would start by identifying what you are trying to accomplish. This usually begins with HR; how employees are on-boarded, how they are off-boarded, and the lifecycle of the HR processes. After you have an understanding of those processes, then you can evaluate how they can be improved. Rather than biting off too much, identify small areas, and work on them, one at a time, to learn how IAM improves each area.  For example, focus on onboarding and off-boarding employees faster. This will help HR to become more efficient in employee management, and accelerate employee productivity.

Another launching point would be to first answer these three questions. Each question should answer how you gain control, streamline processes through automation, and improve user and organizational safety.

 #1. Who has access to what systems, applications, and data? #2. How do users gain access? #3. How do they use that access? This could include single sign-on, multi-factor, etc.  

Because of COVID-19, I’ve been given the green light to implement IAM. How do I evaluate vendors? Do I look at technology vendors, service providers, or both?

First, determine how you want to run your IAM program, and establish your goals and expectations. Do you want a technology solution that you implement in-house? Do you have the internal expertise, time, and resources to provision, deploy, monitor, and manage the solution? If not, you can look for a partner that specializes in IAM. One that can guide you, and provide managed services that will bring together the best technologies, implement them, and manage everything on your behalf. By clearly understanding your needs, you can find the technologies with the capabilities that meet your criteria.

There are other sources, such as Gartner’s Magic Quadrant, Forrester Waves and KuppingerCole Leadership Compass reports. Many analysts offer helpful tools that their clients can use to identify their particular IAM requirements and find the vendors that best align with them. For example, Gartner offers its clients MQ toolkits to input company-specific requirements and priorities, and match those with an appropriate solution vendor. You can also ask the vendors and service providers you’re evaluating how their solutions match your requirements. Gartner Peer Insights, SeriusDecisions and G2 are peer review sites that can also provide additional insight from peers who may be trying to accomplish similar goals and can help in evaluating solutions. .

We just touched upon a few questions within this 30-minute Coffee Talk. There are other compelling questions, including, “What are the best practices for multi-factor authentication? And, the Gartner Magic Quadrant was mentioned earlier. What are other good sources for evaluating IAM vendors and solutions?” 

If you want to learn more, you can watch this, and other on-demand Coffee Talk sessions at https://www.brighttalk.com/channel/17142.

We hope you can join our next Coffee Talk where you can chat with IAM experts, ask questions and gain insights into how you can lower operational costs, and achieve greater security and privacy using IAM. Click here to sign-up