Blog Single FullWidth | Enar


Top 5 Questions You Should Ask When Evaluating An Identity Management Solution
February 11, 2020
Blog post image
Information is undoubtedly the most valuable asset for an organization in today’s digital world, and organizations must have a framework or a system in place that assists in managing their digital assets. Identity and Access Management (IAM) provides businesses with direction and help on how to manage and access critical organizational information.

Identity and access management (IAM) helps organizations to define and manage identity, roles, access privileges of enterprise the resource (user, system, or process). IAM ensures that organizations have total control over their information assets. The term ‘access’ means the ability of a user, a system, or a process to either view/ modify/ delete/ create any organizational information or information system based on the access rights assigned to it,  once its identity has been prooved/ authenticated.

So what are the five questions organizations should ask themselves when evaluating an identity management solution?

1. SHOULD WE GO WITH AN ON-PREMISE SOLUTION OR A CLOUD-BASED IAM PROVIDER?
When it comes to choosing an IAM solutions provider, many organizations end up in a dilemma. The question they face is whether they should go for an on-premise solution or a cloud-based provider. Well, for starters, both answers come with their own set of pros and cons.

On-Premise IAM Solutions
On-prem solutions are still relevant and have their importance when it comes to the following situations:

• When there is a regulatory or legal need to do so as this is the case in most of the countries today.
• With on-premise solutions, an organization gains complete control over their system.
• If organizations can provide a team of dedicated resources to manage their IAM solution, then this would be the best solution for the organization.

Cloud-based IAM Solutions
Cloud-based IAM providers, on the other hand, come as a boon to enterprises as:

• Cloud-based solutions can save them a lot of money on infrastructure and resources.
• The whole concept of IAM can be just used as a plug and play software.
• Cloud-based solutions are quick to implement and provide for greater scalability and flexibility.

So, it is up to the organization to decide whether they need to go for an on-premise solution or a cloud-based IAM provider based on their individual requirements.

2. WHAT APPLICATIONS DO WE NEED THE IDENTITY MANAGEMENT SOLUTION TO INTEGRATE WITH OR SUPPORT?
While cloud-based SaaS (Software As A Service) solutions have made things much easier for the business world, they have undoubtedly made things all the more complicated for IT administrators and Identity Management departments. IAM requires IT administrators, to create a library of all the applications needed to be run within the organization. Hence, the IT team must come up with a plan to take stock of all the applications that employees will be using and apps that need to be tracked. The team also needs to talk to vendors and ask them to come up with a list of applications that their solution supports.

Finally, the IT team needs to create a list of apps that will be used by employees, apps that need to be tracked, and vendor-supported applications. Most of the IAM solutions available can integrate with thousands of pieces of software and applications.

3. DO WE NEED POINT SOLUTIONS OR A FULL PLATFORM?
Point solutions provide businesses with a solution to handle their present IAM requirements. However, if you are thinking about the future, then you need a solution that can give account for flexibility and scalability. Many businesses make the fundamental mistake of choosing solutions that satisfy their immediate goals and do not see the bigger picture. An organization that opts for a point solution will soon end up with a complex web of these point solutions connected with themselves, difficult to manage, and having many open, unknown vulnerabilities in their network systems. It also means that instead of a single-sign-on, it will create too many logins and lots of structural challenges and frustrations in the future.

A fully-integrated platform, on the other hand, has many advantages, such as:

• It not only solves present needs but also assists in planning for the future.
• With a fully-integrated platform, you have a single point of control for all your digital assets.
• In a nutshell, It is secure, scalable, flexible, and is easy to manage.

Choosing an IAM solution can be tricky, but once you start answering these questions, you will begin to understand the requirements for an IAM solution in a transparent manner.

4. WHAT BUSINESS TRENDS IMPACT OUR NEEDS TODAY? HOW ABOUT IN 5 YEARS?
The industry has grown several folds in the past few years or so. Whether we like it or not, the cloud is the future, and businesses need to start taking into account this factor when planning for migration. Cloud IAM solutions have changed the control parameters for information access as IT administrators can now provide access not only to their employees but also to customers, vendors, suppliers, regulators, etc.

When choosing an IAM solution, businesses need to factor in every aspect. Take, for example, if you are planning to open an office in China, you cannot expect to buy a solution that only supports the English language. One also needs to factor in business growth and take scalability and flexibility into account when choosing an IAM solution. One concession that businesses can give themselves is, most IAM solutions integrate with almost all types of applications that an organization might need.

This fact is unlikely to change in the future. However, the most crucial aspect and trend in the next 5 years would be:

• Organizations will have to spend more budget and resources on Identity and access governance, and tools and technologies that help in achieving so.
• IaaS (Identity As A Service) is one of the emerging technology areas that continues to be the most explored and adopted identity domain in IAM solutions development.
• Single Sign-On (SSO) will continue to dominate the market for the preferred choice for a session and user authentication service.
• Organizations will continue to face challenges in privileged access management

5. WHAT SIZE COMPANY DO I WANT TO WORK WITH FOR MY IAM SOLUTION?
The final question in our list that an enterprise needs to ask itself is the size and type of IAM company whose's services they would want to use. You would like to choose the best in the IAM business, then remember that you will need to shell out more money in terms of licenses, installation, maintenance, and so on. IAM solutions are being offered by various small, medium, and large companies, and each IAM solution comes with its advantages. Larger companies might have dedicated customer support staff and provide a better experience. They can also be more trusted as they have been in the field for a more extended time.

Smaller companies, on the other hand, also have an advantage as they often provide discounts and are more innovative. Small & medium size companies might even be better suited to your needs than larger ones. Hence, organizations must not just decide upon the size of the company that they want to work with but also take into account the efficiency and service capabilities before jumping onto the IAM bandwagon.

FINAL THOUGHTS
The critical thing to remember is that the IAM solution you choose will remain a vital aspect in your business for many years. Hence, organizations need to analyze every point, understand their requirements, and select a solution that suits their requirements. Organizations should choose an Identity Management Solution that meets both present and future needs and also the solutions that address the basic need of having an IAM solution i.e., Identity and Access Governance, IaaS (Identity As A Service) services or solutions, Single Sign-On (SSO) capabilities, Privileged Access Management (PAM) solutions. We at Paramount follows a vendor agnostic approach. We first try to understand the business, the risk, before recommending any solution. As of now, Paramount has executed more than 40 large IAM projects across GCC, covering all major banks, oil & gas, aviation, government entities. With more than 15 years of expertise, we have some of the most experienced IAM experts in the region.

Blog written by Gunpreet Singh - Service Delivery Manager - IAM

Know more about Paramount’s IAM Solutions: https://www.paramountassure.com/solutions/identity-security