Identity’s Competitive Advantage—Do You Know What It Can Do For You?

identiverse identity's competitive advantage

When we here at Solutions Review talk about identity in a digital context, it tends to focus on identity’s relation to cybersecurity: how proper digital identity management can secure your enterprise’s proprietary data and assets from external threats, how the principle of least privilege can prevent insider threats, etc. These identity capabilities are certainly important—in fact, identity might be the most important concern in modern cybersecurity platforms. Yet at the same time, such a focus may not tell the whole story of identity’s power in the digital workplace.

Identiverse (formerly the Cloud Identity Summit), which will be the largest digital identity conference in the world, is fast approaching. From June 24 to June 27, Boston MA will be host to some of the globe’s most renown identity experts. In that spirit of this upcoming event, we wanted to talk about an often neglected aspect in the discourse around identity: identity’s competitive advantage for business processes. What can identity do for your enterprise’s bottom line? How can it benefit your employees’ productivity?

Here’s what we found:

Identity Improves Scalability

Identity and access management (IAM) systems can greatly enhance your enterprise’s digital scalability, which can be a boon to enterprises embracing digital transformation. The blessing and curse of the modern IT environment is that it can scale nearly infinitely—a boon to your bottom line but a possible nightmare for employees and IT security teams.

In the wake of these developments, the modern digital workplace has moved far from the traditional on-premises model to which we’ve all become accustomed. Employees can work from home, in their offices or on the road. Modern information systems include not just on-premises networks, but also applications, cloud data banks, and mobile devices. Most enterprises need to give access to third-party vendors and contractors access to their internal systems to fulfill their business models profitably.

An IT environment of this size and complexity could overwhelm even the most prepared IT departments and security teams. Yet, identity’s competitive advantage can keep your team sane and informed about your information systems’ activity. IAM can centralize the disparate endpoints and applications under a singular network umbrella, which reduces complexity and costs. An IAM solution can safeguard credentials and access, so you can afford to open your network to more customers and partners—allowing for more transactions, collaboration, and productivity. Your IT department doesn’t have to spend hours upon hours integrating every new application or cloud platform to ensure security, simplifying their workload.

All in all, identity’s competitive advantage allows your IT department to support your network’s scalability—opening the door to greater profitability both in the short and long term.

Productivity Will See a Boost

It’s easy to see a lost password as exclusively a security concern. Granted, it’s certainly a security concern: stolen, misplaced or weak credentials were responsible for over 80% of enterprise data breaches. Yet, even in the most innocuous of cases—like an employee forgetting a password—the cost to your business in lost productivity can be incalculable.

Let’s look at a hypothetical scenario: a mid-level employee forgets their password and puts in a request to your IT help desk. This is yet another ticket on your IT help desk’s docket, adding to their workload and increasing the wait time for other employees who have pressing technical issues or their own password reset requests. Then, the employee in question has to wait for the IT help desk to respond, which means time wasted instead of time used productively to fulfill their role.

Furthermore, because that employee can’t perform their tasks—either at all or to their maximum capacity—other employees who work with them or down the process line also can’t perform their work to their fullest capacity. It creates a digital log jam, gumming up the intricate works of your business and reducing its overall productivity.

Adding fuel to this already substantial fire, actually performing password resets can take far longer than you’d expect. In enterprises with particularly overtaxed IT departments, password resets can take as long as three weeks to fulfill. That’s three weeks of less-than-optimal performance from possibly entire teams within your enterprise as employees wait for access.

All of those headaches just for a forgotten password! And that doesn’t even get into employee onboarding, offboarding and managing the changing roles of employees and their consequential permissions adjustments. Plus, you also need to process the temporary permissions to assets and databases that employees might need to fulfill special projects or day-to-day functions. Cumulatively, this could cost months of employee time, spent simply waiting…and waiting is rarely (if ever) profitable in the digital marketplace.

Identity’s competitive advantage can stop the waiting before it happens by initiating automated permission changes and password resets within your enterprise’s IT environment. This is far more efficient, as IAM solutions can handle access requests and onboarding/offboarding needs faster than manual processing could ever manage—saving your enterprise time and money in one stroke.

Multiple Logins Reduced to One Via Single Sign-on

Let’s explore another hypothetical scenario: your enterprise is running smoothly. Everyone remembers their passwords. No employees are changing positions within your enterprise. No employees are leaving or entering your business. Everyone’s identities are staying consistent. There’s no way you could benefit from identity’s competitive advantage, right?

Wrong. Actually, there’s another time-sink that’s draining your employees’ productivity even when things seem quiet: multiple sign-ons. Employees have to sign on to numerous applications and processes every day—some surveys have found that they’re expected to memorize up to 150 passwords just to perform their jobs. This is a lot of time spent signing on, and a lot of opportunities for forgotten passwords.

Which of identity’s competitive advantages can solve this problem? Single sign-on. This tool is central to many IAM solutions. It allows employees to sign on once and then have access to the applications and processes relevant to their role without needing to re-enter usernames and passwords. The time this saves on superfluous sign-ons can’t be overstated.

When it comes to understanding identity’s competitive advantage, remember the golden rule of business: time is money. Time spent dealing with passwords, sign-ons and access problems is time not spent productively fulfilling your goals. Better bottom lines are found by deploying an IAM solution. So what will you do?

The clock to better profits is ticking.

If you’re interested in learning more about identity’s competitive advantage, you should attend Identiverse (formerly the Cloud Identity Summit) in Boston, MA June 24-27. You can use our promotional code REGISTERNOW18 when you register to save $250. It’s time to embrace identity’s competitive advantage! You should register here today!

Ben Canner

Ben Canner is an enterprise technology writer and analyst covering Identity Management, SIEM, Endpoint Protection, and Cybersecurity writ large. He holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English from Clark University in Worcester, MA. He previously worked as a corporate blogger and ghost writer. You can reach him via Twitter and LinkedIn.
Ben Canner