Identity and access management (IAM) operations are typically complex and challenging. IAM operations, from security to governance, require careful consideration, planning and execution to orchestrate them in unison with business objectives.
Challenging they may be, but also worthwhile. When done right, IAM operations can significantly enhance your customer experience (CX) in support of overall business processes. That said, in the real world—your world—you have your own version of IAM operations, which you’ve gone to significant extremes to keep running like a Tesla in ludicrous mode. Kudos!!!
So now the question is, how can we improve your IAM ops? If you have a roadmap for success, how about taking it to next level by setting up a software factory—introducing agility and setting the stage for automation? Yes, the death of Moore’s Law is already proving beneficial. In this series of blogs, I will discuss setting up a software factory for your world—IAM operations.
At the core of IAM ops is an IMAG solution such as CA Identity Suite that’s integrated with your applications, directories and databases (known as endpoints in CA Identity Suite lingo). Endpoint integration is called application onboarding, a process that involves understanding use cases and integration aspects and then integrating the application into your IAM framework. Doing this at an enterprise scale gets complicated when working with applications that can be managed by an IMAG solution’s OOTB connectors and legacy applications that don’t provide integration interfaces. Managing identities, accounts and access for these applications and having proper governance creates silos in operations that lead to non-compliance to regulations and indirect operations costs. This leads us to our first goal when establishing a software factory for your world: Simplify application onboarding.
Next up is the challenge of creating an enterprise IAM framework that supports security and compliance needs without having to deal with performance issues that impact your CX. This framework should be simple and extensible, and it should support all types of users and their business needs as well as business operations. So the second goal of our software factory is to create an enterprise IAM framework.
But simplified application onboarding and an enterprise IAM framework can’t by themselves provide the efficiency we seek. What’s missing? If we look carefully, we soon realize that we need standardized, reusable components—a tremendously useful capability to achieve and sustain, akin to creating a portal and enchanting your inventory items in Minecraft to defeat ender dragon. So our third goal is standardized, reusable components.
Taking inspiration from Elton John’s “This Train Don’t Stop There Anymore,” I suggest that we need an agile train—a train that keeps chugging, helping us to expand the footprint of your world to as many applications, directories and databases as possible and that copes with operational overheads like version control, upgrades, break fixes, enhancements and releases. May the fourth (goal) be with you: agile devOps.
The last (but not least important) aspect of the software factory is automation that permits collaboration of software in support of business processes. While not everything can be automated right now, we must explore and implement (where possible) automation in your world’s software factory—monitoring, notifications, simple deployments and simple defect resolutions. Our fifth goal: automation.
In upcoming blogs, I will discuss each goal in more detail. Until then, feel free to let me know if you have identified other goals for the software factory in your IAM operations world.
Related information: CA Services Security Catalog.