Trends, ServiceNow, ClearSkyeIGA, Industry, Inspiration

Top 3 Pitfalls Of Identity Governance And Administration Programs And A Disruptive New Way To Avoid Them

August 17, 2020

IGA is a critical building block to any business’s IAM success so it’s hard to believe there hasn’t been innovation in the space for more than a decade. Until now.

It is a story I have seen play out countless times over the last 20 years. An organization, filled with smart people, selects an IGA solution, also filled with smart people, and a services partner, absolutely brimming with smart people, to finally solve their IGA challenges once and for all. The selection and project kickoff processes are well organized and full of bright-eyed optimism. Then, over the next 6-12 months, it happens. The gleaming sports car that was the project is now running on 3 bald tires and is almost out of gas. Questions are being raised and blamestorming has become a popular pastime. At this point there is a large gap between the value being realized from the project and the value that was envisioned. Why does this happen and how can we stop this cycle?

IGA programs stumble for lots of reasons, but I have found there are three that pop up over and over again.

Avoiding the Pitfalls

1. Costs Are Underestimated

The software solution has cost, as do they needed advisory services to deploy to the first milestone.  What is often under-represented in cost estimates are infrastructure costs, integration costs to other key systems and training costs for the knowledge workers that will need to use the solution. It is important to note that experience IGA skills are in high demand, so every item added in change control or underestimated in effort will take a large toll out of the project budget.

2. Disconnected User Experience

Users need to USE it. We often forget that for IGA to work, the IGA team defines what right looks like but the actual day to day operation of requesting and approving access is done by the knowledge worker community. This group just needs things to work so they can do their job and doesn’t necessarily have the time or willingness to learn yet another new system and lexicon. If using the solution isn’t easy and embedded into their day to day lives, the users will seek ways around the process, help desk, phone a friend, claiming they cannot do their work tasks etc.  This slow, building mutiny will severely hamper even the best laid plans.

3. Lack of C-Suite Sponsorship

Executive leadership ghosting is real. These projects are hard and require collaboration across departments. That means that there needs to be executive sponsorship to get through friction points. My personal experience was that you could predict how quickly a project was going to go off the rails by how soon the executive sponsor stopped coming to status meetings. When they move on to other things, it becomes almost impossible to keep things moving as planned. I am not casting dispersions on any executive here, but I have seen this happen more times than I can count. There are lots of possible reasons for this, the main one simply being that Identity, while important, is not a board room topic. When things start to get rough, a smart executive will shift his or her focus on a project that is strategic — digital transformation is a good example.

While I have seen these things play out time and time again, I do believe there are ways to protect your project. One way is to take a new approach to your IGA solution. The Clear Skye team has built an IGA solution that is 100% built and native to the ServiceNow Now Platform. There are lots of benefits to this approach but let’s take a look at how changing the play can address these common pain points.

Strategies for a Better Identity Future

1. Maximize Your Current Platform Investment

Extending you investment on ServiceNow to include IGA is less expensive. We find that the cost of Clear Skye IGA is about 70% of other competing products. But the software costs are not the whole story. Even more impactful is the significantly more plentiful and less expensive skill set needed to deploy a solution built on NOW. There are tens of thousands of certified Now platform experts available to do work at roughly half the cost of an expert in one of the IGA solutions. Long term there are savings as well. Most IGA programs require bringing back in the team of consultants every time there is a new application or new business process that the IGA solution needs to incorporate. If you company has invested in ServiceNow, you likely have a team of people internally who can take on the long-term care and feeding of theIGA program once the initial phases are complete. This is a significant long-term reduction in total cost of ownership (TCO) for the program.

2. Your Users Are Already Using ServiceNow, So Use ServiceNow

If an organization has made the investment in ServiceNow, knowledge workers are already using the interfaces and workflows to request and approve services. There is no new URL to bookmark, no new interface to train on. Clear Skye simply extends what people are using with identity data and context.

3. Engage the C-Suite by Focusing on Digital Transformation

This isn’t only about creating abetter IGA program — at its core, Clear Skye accelerates your identity’s digital transformation and we all know executives love to ride the Dx train. ServiceNow is the most widely used and transformative business platform over the last decade. The ROI and case studies speak for themselves. Your IGA executive sponsor will be proud to stay engaged in a project that is extending the successes already made in a strategic area like digital transformation.

We believe that Clear Skye IGA provides #ABetterWaytoIGA, one that not only removes common obstacles to IGA success but also leverages the other applications on the platform like ITSM, Security Operations, GRC to do things that no other IGA solution can do.

But don’t take our word for it. Read what others are saying: Clear Skye Customer Success Stories >

Image from Pitfall. Copyright Atari 1982.


KuppingerCole Executive Report Download

Written By

John Milburn

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