ServiceNow, Industry, POV

When it comes to identity, simplification is sophistication

February 11, 2021

No company launches an identity initiative with a goal of complexity in mind. Identity projects are typically launched to make a set of tasks simpler or to help a company manage its risk or compliance efforts.

However, one of the standard tasks of any identity project is integration: Integration with various systems like mainframes or servers; integration with identity repositories or systems of record; and integration with business applications that might be deployed on-premise, or in the cloud (SaaS).

That’s where the complexity comes in. The average company is a tangle of these “things” that eventually need to be integrated with an identity solution.

Much has been written by industry analysts, or my identity colleagues, regarding what mistakes not to make in an identity project, how to drive a successful identity project, and more. I don’t want to pretend that I have a different take in this blog article.

What I do want to discuss is what I’ve heard from numerous customers over the last six months. Simply put, complexity of their existing identity solution is holding them back. It’s not causing a wreck, so to speak, but the potholes and speedbumps on the journey are getting really annoying.

The Starting Point: ServiceNow for ITSM

The customers I talk to have made strategic decisions to use ServiceNow as their digital workplace or the focal point of their digital transformation strategy. This is the right move: ServiceNow has long been known for its leading IT Service Management (ITSM) capabilities based on its amazing digital workflows.

As companies have built out their ServiceNow ITSM solution, they have amassed a significant amount of information about their employees, including devices and applications they use, automated assignments, approvals, and notification rules, workflows, and other workplace services.

As ServiceNow continues its success, we see more customers who want to leverage the capabilities of the platform or expand their business goals by adding ServiceNow modules such as IRM/GRC, SecOps, or HR to their solution. Again, this is the right move; standardizing on a single platform reduces complexity across the board, and there’s no better platform than ServiceNow for managing digital workflows in the enterprise.

The Problem: To Manage IGA, Data Moves Back and Forth (and Back Again)

But complexity re-enters the picture once the time comes to implement identify governance and administration (IGA). Many of these customers have been copying ServiceNow data to their existing IGA solution to process certifications, access requests, and compliance reports.

In the majority of discussions, customers tell me they had to pre-process the exported data, import it into their identity solution, and, ultimately, export it back to their solution of record for GRC or audit, which is ServiceNow.

All these required intermediary export, transport, and load (ETL) steps to move this data between ServiceNow and their existing IGA solution are prone to failure. This adds unnecessary complexity to the IGA process, and it frustrates IGA teams trying to make identity and governance seamless for their end users.


99% of identity solutions: Complex, error prone processes

The Solution: Manage IGA With Clear Skye on ServiceNow

Fortunately, there’s a simple solution: Stop moving data! The ServiceNow Configuration Management Database (CMDB) is the single system of record for a company’s IT infrastructure and digital service data. All ServiceNow applications leverage this CMDB, including ITSM, HR, GRC/IRM, and SecOps. One customer described ServiceNow as containing the “DNA of our organization”. Moving it is not optimal.

More customers realize that they can reduce the risk – and complexity – of their identity governance efforts by eliminating all the ETL and data transformation steps by simply leveraging the information as it sits in the ServiceNow CMDB.

Clear Skye’s identity governance data is also stored in that same ServiceNow CMDB. This means our customers can take the efforts to simplify their governance efforts one step further by processing certifications, access requests, and compliance reports directly within ServiceNow, based on the ServiceNow CMDB.


A Better Way: A simplified, cost-saving solution

Our approach shows that something simple can in fact be quite sophisticated – not to mention a powerful solution to the longstanding and complex problem of enterprise identity management.

Want to learn more? Contact Clear Skye if you’re a ServiceNow customer who could benefit from our approach to IGA.



Written By

Jackson Shaw

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