Automation of Access Management
One of tasks that your IT department probably really dislikes is managing the in-house and cloud user accounts and passwords for all of the employees in the company. Though this is usually an easy task, it is extremely mundane and time consuming, especially for a company that has frequent movement of employees. For a highly technical employee, who has a great deal of knowledge, having them handle account management is a waste of a resource for the company. These employees should spend their time focusing on more technical issues and complex projects for your organization.
So how can you get your IT department to mind when they are asked to perform tasks related to a user’s account or password? Many solutions are out on the market that can assist with this process and allow the IT department to focus more of their time on technical issues and projects. The following are a few ways to if not love user management then at least like it a bit more.
Allow for account creation and overall management from one single place
Probably one of the most frustrating parts of account management is setting up a new account for an employee in each and every in-house and cloud application. The admin needs to access each application enter the employee information and set their access rights. Chances are that the new employee will need numerous accounts to start their job, and will be left waiting for a few days for the correct access.
An identity and access management (IAM) solution allows for this process to be completely automated. By automating, an individual only needs to enter the employee information in the HR system, check off which applications they should have created for them and voila, new accounts. These solutions work seamlessly for both in house and cloud applications, so any type of application or system your company uses can be easily integrated.
No more headaches from time sensitive requests
The other frequent request is for additional access, accounts or resources created for an employee. An employee often needs to contact a manager or admin if they need access to an application or to make a change to their account. If this request is time sensitive, the employee may continually contact the manager to check up on the progress and see if the change is being implemented. Now imagine these emails coming in from more than one employee saying they need a change as soon as possible.
This process can also be automated and streamlined. Workflow management in an IAM solution allows a workflow to be set up for all of these requests. As an example, an employee needs access to certain application for a project they are working on. They simply make the request in the employee portal and it is routed to the correct person. That person can either accept or deny the request. If accepted, the change is automatically made and the employee will have immediate access. This eliminates the need for anyone to contact the IT department or an account admin to request the change. Workflow works seamlessly with in house and cloud applications so changes can be easily made to both.
Then, if an employee wants to check on their request, they can view the progress in their portal instead of contacting the admin directly. So, admins no longer need to be repeatedly contacted to ask if the change has been made.
Frequent calls for the same issue
What about all of the password issues that the IT department is usually asked to help with? Many IAM solutions also work seamlessly with password management so that these issues can also be drastically reduced. Employees often call in to have their password reset for one or more of their applications when they forget them or are locked out of their accounts. This, like the account change request, is very simple to fix, but becomes time consuming when many employees are requesting fixes for the same issue.
The most popular fix to these issues is to implement password management solutions. Solutions such as a self-service password reset software have been adapted to be helpful to those using cloud or in house applications. This type of solution allows end users to reset their own passwords without having to contact the help desk. Employees can reset their passwords at any time, from any location — even from their mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets.
With all of the accounts that employees need to access every day, they may find it difficult to remember several sets of complex passwords. Single sign-on solutions have also been adapted to work in conjunction with cloud applications. SSO allows users to login in once with a single set of credentials and thereafter gain access to all other applications they are authorized for, easily resolving the issue of needing to remember multiple passwords.
These solutions allow the IT department to focus on actual technical issues within the organization so that they don’t keep getting asked to perform mundane easy tasks that might be taking up a large percentage of their time. With IAM solutions these tasks can be easily automated making the process better for everyone involved, and resulting in a happy IT department.
By Dean Wiech
Dean Wiech is managing director at Tools4ever US. Tools4ever supplies a variety of software products and integrated consultancy services involving identity management, such as user provisioning, role-based access control, password management, single sign on and access management solutions.