Adding Should Always Mean Subtracting

Everyone loves a ridiculous blog title, right? I couldn’t resist; especially when it fits so well with the subject at hand. Technology’s goal to save time/save effort and create a better end result may not be true in every case.

How about brewing coffee? The gold standard for brewing coffee is the automatic drip coffee maker—technology that saves time and effort but doesn’t result in a better cup of coffee—at least not for coffee aficionados. It removed control of brewing variables. Let me list the essential factors in brewing coffee: quality of your beans, type of grind, temperature of water, keeping your coffee warm or small batch brewing. You can see what I mean that most of the variables are out of your control. How does this apply to Identity and Access Management?

My challenge for you is to look at your IAM technologies and review if they are saving you time and energy and resulting in a better end product. I agree that the solutions were designed specifically to do that, but without spending enough time upfront to implement the technologies to their highest potential, sometimes they fall short.

Here are some examples:
• Does your Identity Management system take more time to maintain than to create and manage the users and relationships the system is managing?
• Does your SIEM solution take more time to sift through events to discern their origin than just looking directly at the logs of the solution they came from?
• Does your governance solution create more complexity in your access review process than just working with the individual applications one by one?

I could go on with more questions whether your solutions are creating more work than they are solving; but I digress.

My implication is NOT that the solutions are bad or the wrong solution for your organization! Chances are the solutions aren’t working for you because of insufficient investment of time up front for configuration and setup. In other words, there was hope that throwing a solution at a problem would fix it; when in reality, you needed to invest in the solution to solve the complexity of the business problem.

That’s my two beans for the day, happy sipping!

Nathan Wiehe

Nathan is the VP of Integration Services, he has been working in the IAM space for over 15 years. He enjoys writing and drinking coffee, not necessarily in that order.

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