Identity Governance Blog

Out with the Old, in with the New

By Craig Ramsay, Senior Solution Engineer at Omada

October 4, 2021

When I hear the word ‘modern’, my mind immediately jumps to things like autonomous flying cars, space tourism, cryptocurrencies and more. To me, ‘modern’ means innovating on existing solutions to improve or reinvent them. Take, for example, autonomous cars. With this modern solution (albeit one that’s still hypothetical) people could get where they want quicker, cheaper, safer, and easier than they do today sitting in bumper-to-bumper traffic in cars. This doesn’t even begin to mention the environmental benefits as well. Autonomous cars present a modern solution to a problem that affects many of us and has far-reaching benefits beyond the ones listed above. Who wouldn’t jump at the opportunity for this?

Similarly, in the IT space, organizations are looking at their existing solutions within their stacks and wondering “how can these be improved?” and jumping whenever opportunities arise. The low-hanging fruit often lies in evaluating legacy solutions that were implemented long ago that are no longer fit for purpose, have high maintenance costs or are out of extended support. This is acutely relevant within the Identity Governance and Administration (IGA) space, where recent research shows that on-premises legacy IGA implementations are overly architected, provide poor user experiences (for administrators and end-users alike), require a lot of custom coding, and are complex and cumbersome to deploy, scale and upgrade. Add to this their limited capabilities to integrate with a modern identity-centric approach to security and you can see where the problem lies.

Key Considerations when Migrating from Legacy to Modern IGA

Modern IGA solutions are not as far-fetched as flying, autonomous cars and can already be deployed today. However, when migrating from a legacy system to a modern solution, there’s a few things to look out for. A modern IGA solution should be built from the ground up to support the needs and requirements of today’s modern business. This includes, but is not limited to, things like:

1. SaaS architected, without any feature sacrifices. At this point, most know the greatest hits of why SaaS is the preferred way of deploying and consuming software. SaaS solutions offload infrastructure management to the vendor, subscription pricing is easy to optimize for use, and upgrades are synched with every new release. Within the IGA space, these benefits are certainly present, but other things to keep note of for any modernization is that the SaaS solution should prove that it is: full featured to meet the demands of the enterprise, highly available, process-built for data recovery, data encryption and has strong Service Level Agreements (SLA).

2. Modern look and feel. This isn’t a hot take; modern solutions should look and feel, well, modern. This means clean views of data so that administrators and end-users alike can get to the data they need quicker and easier. It also means a sleek interface that is not only intuitive but configurable. It may seem small to some but branding and configuration of the UI can have huge implications on how well received and the adoption rate of new solutions is by end users. A modern IGA solution will not only allow the UI to be branded, but also provides reporting for licensing, SLAs and more, to ensure that the solution is being optimized.

3. Demonstrable control of identity related risk. Within IGA, the main goal is still to grant the right people the right access to the right resources, for the right amount of time. A modern IGA solution should not only do this, but also be able to be rapidly deployed in a way to fit the immediate needs of the organization. Further, once deployed, it should be able to connect to a multitude of different systems and applications so that user rights can be provisioned and deprovisioned automatically. As businesses look to modernize themselves, a modern IGA solution will give people the tools they need to run systems autonomously. This happens through self-service workflows with an easy-to-use portal (see point 2) to give end users access they need without over-burdening the Helpdesk.

Why Modern IGA is a Necessity in Today’s Businesses

Modern IGA solutions are a necessity today not only because of these three things, but also are required to meet the evolving needs of modern businesses. Today’s businesses feature traditional IT users and basic employees, but also interns, contractors, third parties, business partners, and more which can make for complex entitlements and role modeling. Without a modern, scalable solution it is not only complex but also costly and mistake-laden that result in too much access being granted to an identity (and thus is a sitting duck for attackers) or provides too little access which can stifle productivity and frustrate end users.

Manage the Entire Identity Lifecycle for all Users

Another common theme within modern businesses is the rapid turnover and changing of personnel, sometimes known as ‘joiner, mover, leaver.’ IGA solutions should also be able to manage the entire identity lifecycle so that when identities move from department to department, or as contractors’ contracts end, or employees join the company, they are automatically provisioned with the proper access to do their jobs without accumulating excessive entitlements along the way (entitlements creep). Automated identity lifecycle processes also ensure that when access is no longer required to perform a certain job then access is automatically revoked. The caveat here, is that to do all these things, IGA solutions must be nimble enough to adapt, and deployed in time so that value can be gleaned.

Omada Identity Cloud is a cloud-architected modern IGA solution that offers full-featured IGA with flexible delivery options, the ability to scale, and rapid deployment in 12 weeks. The right, modern IGA solution ensures that people continuously have the right access that they need, when they need it, for the right reasons and for only the time they need it. Further, this gives IT the tools they need to manage these respective identities and access rights with the help of intelligent decision support while minimizing calls to the helpdesk through automated workflows.


Webinar: Why you Should Modernize Your Legacy IGA Architecture

To learn more, join me on October 14th when I will share the challenges of legacy IGA solutions, what modern IGA looks like and how it helps deliver tangible value to the business.

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