Four Hidden IAM Costs that Can Erode Your Bottom Line

Most of the headlines you see related to identity and access management (IAM) are the very scary kind, like data breaches that can costs companies dearly. Globally, breaches cost organizations $3.86 million on average, while in the U.S. that figure skyrockets to $7.91 million. But, as eye-popping as those numbers are, there are hidden costs associated with outdated or broken IAM solutions that can do significant damage too, especially over the long term.

Painfully slow onboarding

For many new employees, on-boarding can be a slow process. Provisioning access to needed systems can sometimes take days or even weeks. Even if you’re granted access promptly and get your email set up, you may not have full access to everything you need to do your job for weeks, especially if an IT manager is on vacation or overwhelmed with competing priorities. If new employees aren’t “hooked up” on day one, your current IAM onboarding process and provisioning workflow are costing you money in lost productivity.

Provisioning new users within your core systems and adding them to the proper groups so they can access email and business applications is time-intensive with homegrown, legacy, or piecemeal IAM solutions. All that manual work can add to your overhead on the IT side too. The good news is that, by investing in a modern and integrated security posture that includes provisioning automation, the onboarding process can empower your new hires to hit the ground running and keep your IT department humming.

Ignored employee changes and shifts

Beyond onboarding, there are substantial hidden costs associated with changes in user’s rights, resetting passwords, and modifying access for employees that are promoted, demoted, or moved to a new business unit or role. If workers are not granted speedy access and permissions to systems and applications needed in their new role, lost productivity becomes a cost issue yet again. A modern IAM strategy is flexible and agile enough to account for on-going user changes with a workflow and tools to effectively address these modifications, as well as offer self-service options for fewer calls to the help desk. Changes in your workforce can be effectively managed using automation tools, self-help password reset features, and a consistent application of standard and policies.

Paying for licensing fees you no longer need

The chief goal of IAM when employees exit is to ensure nobody leaves with the keys to the kingdom. However, an added cost factor that may seem far less menacing – yet substantial for larger corporations – is licensing fees. If your deprovisioning process doesn’t include licensing management, you may end up paying fees unnecessarily for a long time. Also, you don’t want to be paying fees for employees that have moved to a new role and no longer use the application. And, with more companies moving to the cloud, licensing fees becomes an even greater issue. Fortunately, a modern IAM solution can help reduce licensing fees by automatically monitoring who has access to what software. With the right tools in place, an IAM solution can help reduce the complexity around license management and eliminate manual processes by automatically identifying unneeded licenses.

Not having strict regulatory controls

Increasing audit requirements and demands for numerous detailed reports make compliance a costly challenge today. Legacy IAM systems have not evolved to meet the strict regulatory landscape, making a failed audit a distinct possibility. Plus, conducting audits with outdated systems can be extremely costly and labor-intensive – a small army is often needed to slog through a mountain of spreadsheets manually. A modern IAM solution offers the ability to continuously access certifications that ensure entitlements are up-to-date (not just when an audit is looming). New solutions empower users to generate ad-hoc reports easily. Plus, today’s IAM governance systems automate, facilitate, and accelerate the process of validating and revalidating everything for cost-effective compliance.

Making the IAM business case

To get the buy-in you need for a more modern IAM solution there’s no doubt the looming prospect of a mega-costly breach will take the spotlight. But you can further strengthen your case by highlighted how a more comprehensive and intelligent approach to IAM could minimize or eliminate these four hidden costs and make your operations more agile, cost-effective, and secure overall.


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