By Andy Baldin, VP EMEA at Ivanti
According to a recent survey by Robert Half UK, one in seven employees are likely to seek a new job every year. Look beyond the surface and a trend emerges that the younger workforce is more likely to job hop throughout their career, unlike their predecessors. Beyond this, there’s the cross-industry increase in temporary employees, comprising consultants, contractors and even interns, that companies also need to contend with.
This continual cycle of employees can pose a challenge for companies’ processes. In today’s digital age, employees use hundreds of devices and have access to multiple applications, shared content and services and each employee’s identity – their role, seniority and department – is crucial in determining which company assets they have access to.
Identity management isn’t a one-player game
Businesses may think identity management is one team’s responsibility but they would be wrong. It requires a holistic approach across IT, HR and security. It’s easy to see why some may think IT is the main player in this matter; the department is responsible for keeping employee information on file in an ‘identity warehouse’. Here, they regulate software access, ensuring that everyone’s digital rights reflect their position however, HR also have a hand in this game.
In addition to offboarding and managing employee transitions, the HR team is also responsible for employee satisfaction, productivity and performance. These work in tandem with having access to the required information and tools, and the inability to utilise the relevant resources can hinder output. To bypass these concerns, line managers, supervisors and the business as a whole, should have a vested interest in ensuring that digital identity is managed efficiently.
Last, but perhaps most imperative, is security itself. It’s remarkable how many businesses don’t realise the potential damage employee identity and access management can cause if badly managed. Of course, employees should have access to the resources, devices and programmes that they need, but it’s crucial that these aren’t abused and don’t end up in the wrong hands. It goes without saying, revoking this access should be a top priority when an employee leaves the business, otherwise, the company is vulnerable to security breaches. Another factor to address is compliance. Since the GDPR came into effect, companies need to ensure they conform with the law or run the risk of a hefty fine. This is where automation can come into its own. With the ability to regulate and record digital access, the technology arms businesses with the tools to report on who has access to what, at all times. It enables companies to effectively managing the employee lifecycle.
Automate, manage and mitigate
If we delve deeper, the benefits of automation become crystal clear. Unlike policy-based identity management tools, automated solutions can proactively flag services available to employees or selectively prevent access based on the employee’s current location, such as when using an insecure public WiFi connection.
From a business perspective, all companies need to do is upload each team member’s information to the network. From here, the automated solution does all the heavy lifting. It identifies their position and proactively matches them to the resources required for their role. As the identity management tool is in sync with the HR source of truth, it can automatically oversee access and handle requests. This has the power to significantly improve the IT department’s lives by tenfold as it reduces the usual tedious hours and manual work, freeing up their time to focus on more valuable work that will make the biggest impact to the company.
It’s easy to let identity management spiral out of control, becoming an intractable problem that consumes vast amounts of time, resources and even hinders team’s performance. So, companies analysing their identity management process should remember to thoroughly explore their options and evaluate how solutions such as automation, enables them to tackle these issues head-on.