Identity Management Cloud solutions // IT Management Solutions

Identity Management Cloud solutions

Companies deploy identity and access management systems for a variety of reasons, and each of these can be tied directly to a real financial benefit. Whether it’s increasing security (and thereby avoiding costly security breaches or data loss), automating application provisioning (thereby saving IT staff’s time) or providing SSO across all devices (reducing employees’ wasted time managing forgotten passwords), IAM contributes to the bottom line in meaningful ways. For example, during Enterasys Networks’ three year-deployment of Okta, the network infrastructure and security provider was able to achieve a 652% 3-year risk-adjusted ROI with a payback of two months. (Read the full October 2012 commissioned case study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Okta here.)

Given such strong results, we thought it might be worth digging deeper to compare the financial benefits of different types of IAM. Luckily, Forrester Research, Inc., recently did exactly that in a detailed report (“Use Commercial IAM Solutions to Achieve More than 100% ROI Over Manual Processes, Forrester Research, Inc.”) comparing four different scenarios for identity and access management. The full Forrester Research report is available to Okta partners and customers (current and future), and I’ve included a synopsis below of the four methods of identity and access management Forrester cites — and why cloud IAM is the clear winner:

  1. Manual identity management processes
  2. Build-your-own on-premises solution
  3. Buy commercial on-premises IAM solution
  4. Deploy an IAM solution that is delivered from the cloud

Using a comprehensive analysis, Forrester found that of these four scenarios, a cloud-based IAM service “offers the greatest benefits for SMBs.” That may seem obvious, but given all of the claims made by various vendors, it’s helpful to have a clear analysis to guide the discussion. From the report:

Key Takeaways

Using Manual IAM Processes Will “Burn Lots of Money”
Forrester found, without looking at net present values and just looking at IAM costs for three years, that a sample company will “spend nearly twice as much on manual processes for security and attestation as on automated ones. As the end user population increases, manual processes simply become less efficient and less tenable.”

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