12.15.2016

evaluate-identity-management-system

So you’ve decided to integrate an identity management system for your business. Congratulations! Now what?

It seems like a simple question, but getting started can be surprisingly difficult — as you likely know because you’re here hoping to learn. It’s all about finding the right fit for your business, plus a partner who is trusted.

This guide looks at some things to consider for choosing the right service partner, what to look for in a platform, questions you should ask to make sure there are no loose ends and a few extra attributes that can signal that you’ve found a company who is a good fit for your brand, culture and size.

Attributes of Smart IdM Platforms

What an IdM brand views as the best attributes for a platform may likely differ from what users want. Here are a few of the most in-demand considerations and attributes that an IdM platform should strive to meet:

  • Broad and smart enough tools and control settings that it feels like the IdM can be adjusted to meet a business, not the other way around
  • A high degree of integration with a smart dashboard to look at your information
  • A standalone directory that allows for tagging and other information collection without needing to add it to an existing internal system
  • Flexibility for users, applications and even branding opportunities
  • Modular formatting that allows you to use the systems you need, such as a federated hub, and then add on support for things like SSO later
  • Robust role-based access controls that are easy to adjust
  • Vendor agnostic deployments

Questions to Ask Any Potential Partner

These questions can be a great way to see how smart and agile your potential partner is, which typically translates into how well they can protect your system today and tomorrow.

  1. What’s your plan for scaling as you grow? Don’t start off with anything simple — get right to the heart of your business. If your company isn’t growing, it’s struggling to keep up. You want to grow and you need a partner who can help, not get in the way. As you grow, there are more identities to manage and more platforms to integrate. Ask how they handle you jumping from thousands to millions of data points and interactions. Then ask about jumping into the billions. IdM can’t fail when you’re really doing well, or it will cost your business.
  2. How do you handle diversity or omni-channel deployments? Ted in accounting hooked up another tablet to make it easier to share financials in meetings, while Jessica in the field introduced five new sensors at a client site to relay information and help with future troubleshooting. When both of their datasets touch a customer — such as determining customer lifetime value relative to recent investments — how does the system handle the omni-channel look at a single customer? Can it (and you) look across all of your apps, channels and inputs for a real-time look at individuals and the organization as a whole?
  3. Who do you know? Are they like me? If you’re the first of your breed customer for a partner, it means you are going to be the test case. If they don’t know your industry, you may experience roadblocks or gain a competitive advantage. If they know your industry, you can ask what you need and how it has benefited companies with a similar profile. The important part is their capabilities, so even if your industry is an unknown, you feel confident in their ability to adapt.
  4. How do I evolve with you? Your network won’t be static. Profile information will need to change over time, and you’ll want that evolution process to be as simple and bug-free as possible. Ask for information about upgrades and maintenance plans, as well as about recent times where they’ve needed to expand or adjust profile information to include new information or meet new regulatory standards.
  5. What’s the role of social media in IdM? Even if you aren’t a consumer-facing brand, where users really like to use their social logins for IdM, you should ask about how it’s handled and protected. Some enterprises are using a singular login credential or storing information in software keychains, which can sometimes be handled in a similar light. If your partner is focused on enterprises but agile enough to adapt to social logins, you can expect them to be flexible in other areas as well.

These tips should help you get started, but if you have any specific questions, reach out to us directly.

Tags

  • The database in which all of your organization’s sensitive identity data is stored.
  • A digital ledger in which digital transactions are recorded chronologically and publicly.
  • Securely managing customer identity and profile data, and controlling customer access to applications and services.
  • The means of linking a person's electronic identity and attributes, stored across multiple distinct identity management systems.
  • A legal framework that sets guidelines for the collection and processing of personal information of individuals within the EU.
  • The policy-based centralized orchestration of user identity management and access control.
  • An authentication infrastructure that is built, hosted and managed by a third-party service provider.
  • A security system that requires more than one method of authentication from independent categories of credentials to verify the user's identity for a login or other transaction.
  • A global provider of innovative and affordable identity access management solutions. 
  • Managing and auditing account and data access by privileged users.
  • Tools and technologies for controlling user access to critical information within an organization.
  • An authentication process that allows a user to access multiple applications with one set of login credentials.