Identity is the foundation of security, so a robust automated identity and access management (IAM) system is by far the best way to keep your company’s information safe. It’s also a great way to increase efficiency and save money.
It’s no wonder so many businesses are adopting IAM systems. The global market value of identity and access management systems has grown from $4.5 billion in 2012 to $7.1 billion in 2018. By 2021, it is expected to reach $14.82 billion, according to MarketsAndMarkets.
By giving employees only as much access as they need, when and where they need it, IAM increases convenience while minimizing security risks. An automated system ensures that no policy is ever ignored and no one falls through the cracks, as often happens when security is handled manually.
But that’s not all a good IAM solution does. It also saves you money and time. Here are some of the financial benefits companies can gain by using an automated IAM.
1. IT costs are lower
An automated IAM solution saves IT workers an enormous amount of time. The savings occur throughout the employee lifecycle.
When new employees arrive, they need to be issued a username, password, and access to all the apps and company data they need. With manual provisioning, it takes the average IT worker half an hour to set this up—when they can get to it. Since they’re often backed up with other work, it sometimes takes days. With automated provisioning, an account is created in minutes, eliminating the need to wait for an IT worker to do it manually. Automated provisioning saves many hours of labor as new workers are hired.
After workers have started, they may need to use additional apps or gain access to other company databases. With automated access management, this can be done with minimal IT intervention. The same is true for deprovisioning when an employee leaves. This is a huge benefit from a security perspective but also eliminates the risk of a former employee accessing data causing a costly breach or compliance violation.
Perhaps best of all for IT workers, an IAM system relieves them of dull and time-consuming tasks like resetting passwords. Each password reset costs an estimated $35 to $50 in IT time, and since it’s a frequent request, costs really add up. Automated IAM creates a secure employee portal allowing workers to take care of password resets and other basic technology tasks themselves, eliminating IT costs.
When they’re freed from the tedium of manual provisioning, deprovisioning, and dealing with constant incoming help desk tickets, IT workers can put their skills to better use, developing new products and finding ways to improve operations.
2. Employees are more productive
IAM saves workers time in many of the same ways it helps IT.
As we have seen, with manual provisioning, it can take hours or even days for employees to get access to the tools they need to do their jobs. With automated IAM, they can get started right away.
If they need access to new apps, without an automated access management system, they have to email or call their manager, who may be out of the office or besieged with requests from other employees. Then they have to wait for a response, and wait again while IT sets up the access.
With automated IAM, the process is smooth and efficient. The employee requests access through a portal, and the request is automatically routed to the right manager. All the manager has to do is click a box to approve or deny the request. IT is notified of the change, but doesn’t have to do anything.
Employees who forget a password don’t have to twiddle their thumbs waiting for help from IT—they can reset it themselves, even if it’s after hours and they’re working from home.
Better yet, IAM sets workers up for single sign-on, meaning they only need to log in once at the beginning of the day and the solution looks after logging them into the applications they need, when they need them. There is no need to waste time logging in and trying to recall the right password every time they switch apps. It also makes your organization more secure, as they are less likely to use the same password for every application.
When employees are more productive, your business operates more efficiently, saving time and money.
3. Audits and compliance are easier, cheaper, and better
Companies spend countless hours compiling paperwork to fulfill compliance regulations, perform internal audits, and prepare for external audits. A good IAM solution has compliance tracking built into the system. In addition to saving time and money, automated tracking prevents costly errors that result from manual processing. It gives auditors and regulators timely, detailed reports and confidence in their accuracy.
4. Developing new apps is less expensive
App developers who can tap into a robust IAM system for access authentication don’t have to waste their time creating one themselves. They provide users with a seamless experience while saving you money on development costs.
5. You eliminate deprovisioning nightmares
Businesses are pretty good at giving employees the resources they need, but many fall down when it comes to removing access.
When a worker changes jobs, some permissions may need to be revoked. For example, someone who moves from sales to marketing no longer needs to see customer credit card numbers. With manual access management, companies often forget to revoke permissions for viewing sensitive company information, setting themselves up for a costly breach and a serious compliance violation. The same is true for deprovisioning when an employee leaves the company.
With automated provisioning, an employee departure is detected right away. Access is instantly revoked. Managers are required to periodically review their workers’ access and remove connections to sites or databases that are no longer necessary.
Automated IAM gives you the tightest security possible while reducing your costs and increasing business value.