Patricia Alfheim
October 18, 2023

Data: the other half of identity management

Data: the other half of identity management

Identity and Access Management (IAM), a very established domain of tooling, approaches, and functionality, has a side that is rarely talked about or focussed on: management of the data that drives the performative IAM functions. 

Identity data is crucial to securing systems, devices and people. It’s one of the most important drivers of customer experience, customer-centric design and product and service enhancement. 

As the world has evolved and many industries have discovered the impact of becoming data-driven and leveraging data for multiple purposes, IAM has remained relatively consistent. This can be attributed to the lack of technological diversity in the market, and the continued dominance of legacy vendors.

Many existing solutions are relatively poorly equipped to support identity data management, with static data backends designed for a former era and hardcoded access decisions. Understandably, it’s hard to overhaul and re-engineer very large and established software products, and likewise on the customer side, no one wants to rip and replace a core piece of critical infrastructure. 

However, the data revolution is coming for IAM and the market is poised for significant innovation. Businesses that can leverage the new tooling and incorporate identity data management into their IAM strategy will reap the benefits.

Gartner recently predicted that within the next 3 years, organizations that adopt data management practices in support of their IAM program will realize 40% improvement in time to value delivery. 

Employing a data layer in your IAM architecture does not require a complete overhaul or rip and replace of your existing stack. It does require that you get an overview of the data in your systems and potentially acquire some new tooling to connect and operationalize that data. 

Once you have this in place, you can leverage the data to extend and enhance your IAM by:

  • Gaining a richer understanding of your customer
  • Unifying and aligning your identity and business data
  • Querying the data for insights
  • Enhancing your threat detection and response
  • Leveraging the data in the development of new products and services
  • Enhancing authorization decisions
  • Implementing machine learning, automation, artificial intelligence.

These are not small gains and by making some small adjustments, your business (and your customers by extension) can reap a wealth of benefits. 

Keen to get started? Check out the E-Guide: The other half of identity management

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