Hybrid IAM: Addressing the security and experience issues caused by hybrid IT

More than 80% of global IT decision-makers have already adopted, or plan to adopt or expand, cloud-based identity and access management (IAM) initiatives over the next two years, a Forrester Consulting study reveals.

hybrid IAM

The study also found that the industry has significant opportunities to improve the IAM experience for the majority of hybrid cloud adopters.

The study surveyed more than 300 IT executives globally on the state of cloud adoption. Findings show that while cloud adoption overall is increasing, investment and interest in hybrid cloud – using a combination of on-premises, public cloud, and Software as a Service (SaaS) – is particularly high. This suggests that IT leaders are realizing that hybrid cloud is a new reality for organizations and can be the quickest way to optimize their IT without disrupting business-critical applications.

Security pros aware of the blind spots in their cloud and IAM strategies

As ecosystems and cloud adoption expand, security professionals are increasingly aware of siloed data environments and the blind spots in their cloud and IAM strategies.

72% of the respondents have a cloud-based IAM, but nearly 50% of them don’t have key security practices in place. Further, almost all IT professionals at firms with IAM technologies face challenges meeting customer needs in a pure cloud environment. For example:

  • 66% of respondents say that process issues, such as flexibility and agility of IAM systems and the ability of those systems to support hybrid cloud worlds, is impeding their adoption.
  • 88% of respondents find technology issues, such as limited IAM functionality, lack of product scalability, and the inability to manage identity and access across current applications, is preventing their adoption of IAM in the cloud.
  • 48% say that lack of cloud IAM expertise, or lack of support from leadership for cloud-based IAM adoption, is preventing them from making progress.

Hybrid IAM: A modern approach for the hybrid enterprise

Two-thirds of respondents say that process obstacles – such as the flexibility and agility of IAM systems, and the ability of IAM to move between different hybrid cloud worlds – hold them back. Adopting a hybrid IAM approach can bridge the gap.

A hybrid IAM approach enables today’s large enterprise to run, unify, and secure all digital identities in a hybrid IT environment. Additionally, more than 70% of respondents expect to see improved customer, employee, and IT benefits from investments in hybrid IAM.

“As this first-of-its-kind research shows, while IT leaders are faced with unique criteria and conditions that shape their IT strategy, hybrid IAM has emerged as a necessity in helping them deliver simple and secure employee and customer experiences,” said Peter Barker, chief product officer, ForgeRock.

“As the only IAM platform on the market that delivers uniform functionality across cloud, on-premises, and hybrid IT environments, ForgeRock is uniquely positioned to meet the complex needs of global enterprises.”

Accelerated adoption of hybrid IAM brings a competitive advantage

By leveraging a comprehensive hybrid IAM platform, organizations can enable seamless user access across multi-channel applications, whether they are running applications on premises, in the private cloud, or on one or more public clouds.

A hybrid IAM platform also solves the need for multiple point solutions while addressing key focal points for today’s IT decision-maker. As highlighted in the study, infrastructure modernization, cloud strategy, and consolidation topped decision-makers’ lists.

As businesses continue to evolve, organizations with accelerated adoption of hybrid IAM will have an important competitive advantage, enabling enterprises to support existing business-critical applications on premises while also transforming and adopting cloud. Having identity at the center of this transformation ensures the future of access is safe and simple.

“The future isn’t just cloud, it’s hybrid cloud,” said Hamidou Dia, VP, global head of solutions engineering, Google Cloud at Google. “This approach gives companies the ability to reimagine their business and modernize faster, and IAM needs to be at the center to ensure the future is both frictionless and secure.”

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