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Moving Away from Legacy Is Hard, But an Identity Data Fabric Can Help

In most organizations, identity data already exists in multiple forms across diverse sources. This happens naturally over time. For most of us, it comes about as the company grows, new users are added, and new applications and software are adopted. There are also planned digital transformations and migrations to cloud structures that can cause multiple identity data stores. On top of that, there are mergers and acquisitions, where entire disparate organizations are brought together.

After the merger, companies are left with a mess of multiple data stores spread across the newly merged enterprise. Your identity system is now a complex web of information featuring multiple identity profiles—even multiple profiles of the same user—each one containing slightly different fields. You’re left with incomplete information in each store, which may even be out of date, out of sync, or in conflict with the information from another authoritative store.

While all of your data is valuable and necessary, it doesn’t necessarily connect easily together, and it can be difficult to access, understand, or deploy across platforms and new systems.

Many large organizations end up maintaining multiple, sometimes dozens of, disjointed and isolated identity data stores. This is a real drag on the organization. Having multiple data stores that don’t communicate can result in significant lost opportunities and increased security risks.

In a best-case scenario, companies spend a lot of time and money on the problem, resulting in complex integrations to connect users to applications according to the correct permissions. In the worst-case scenario, the integrations don’t work well (or at all), and the identity data becomes a lost opportunity.

Legacy Systems Can Be a Real Drag—on Progress!

Nearly every organization has one or more legacy systems that may be approaching the dreaded End of Life, already past the support window—or are simply not modern implementations. Such legacy systems might be obsolete because they’re not the latest version, or there might be more functional ones or newer technology available.

However, the pain and expense of upgrading or decommissioning such legacy systems are so great that they often remain in use in daily operations of large organizations or government agencies. Keeping them is not ideal because:

  • They are costly to maintain
  • They can present a security risk
  • They may not have good (or any) documentation or support, and IT may be unable to fix it if it goes down
  • The personnel to support them is costly, and these professionals could be better used elsewhere
  • They run the risk of disrupting services and causing downtime

The answer isn’t simply migrating to a new system. Sometimes the existing system must be maintained, but the answer is how to enable it to keep functioning more optimally. On the other hand, migration can cause productivity loss because the organization can’t take the time to shut down and migrate these high-volume programs. A successful migration needs to minimally impact business functions. Since this is hard to guarantee, it’s often put off until the need is critical.

Data Sprawl Equals Increased Risk

Most large companies have diverse identity stores. They create multiple profiles with every merger and acquisition, employee promotion or role change, or company reorganization. You can also have different schemas across Microsoft Active Directory (AD), databases, directories, or applications.

Organizations can end up with sensitive data siloed in diverse data stores. All of this makes identity management challenging because silos don’t readily interoperate. You can try connecting data stores with customized connections, workarounds, or insecure APIs, but those are usually breakable band-aid solutions that can incur ongoing maintenance costs.

This whole process can create a bad user experience. It also leads to additional complexity and security risk in your organization. Yet, with the valuable data in these apps, and the potential cost and downtime that can come from the modernization of the infrastructure, it’s no wonder many organizations are hesitant to deal with the problem immediately.

Yet while legacy systems are around, you have account complexity which can cause delays, require manual account research, increase the likelihood of role and privilege mismatches, and increase the risk of an attack. Whether you like it or not, you may be forced to figure out a solution.

The Complexities of Managing Identity Sprawl 

Managing identity sprawl is complex enough that the identity and access management (IAM) solution industry is growing and is expected to be worth US $26 billion worldwide by 2026.

Implementing modern IAM generally demands highly specialized services to ensure IAM tools and platforms work correctly. Legacy applications and other identity stores make the process even more complex.

Professional services are not always successful in bridging diverse identity data stores and multiple user profiles. A drawback of using professional services is that they can still result in a patchwork of connections to applications and identity stores. This makes IT even more complex, with even more potential failure points. Another drawback is that when a solution does work, it’s costly. Large organizations may spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on the process before deploying the IAM platform.

A More Flexible Alternative: Identity Data Fabric Architecture

A simpler, more reliable solution is to resolve your identity sprawl with an Identity Data Fabric, giving you increased flexibility, lower costs, and enhanced visibility and control over user access.

An Identity Data Fabric radically simplifies complex identity management initiatives.

Radiant Logic’s Intelligent Identity Data Platform acts as a broker between applications and identity stores. Instead of relying on simple replication or traditional synchronization, it creates “unified views” by integrating across any number of authoritative data sources, including directories, databases, and web services. The Identity Data Fabric architecture is designed to configure a connection once, then utilize the unified identity data feeds from the platform throughout the infrastructure.

RadiantOne enables easy migration off legacy systems where appropriate and helps maintain systems that still serve their purpose—retrofitting them with modern capabilities to extend and recapture value from these investments. Modernizing the infrastructure is made much simpler with an Identity Data Fabric approach.

RadiantOne in Action in Real-World Deployments

A large North American bank with over 1,000 branches and 90,000 employees turned to RadiantOne when they needed directory migration and identity simplification. Radiant Logic consolidated user access and provided additional visibility into user activities. They drastically reduced the costs associated with manual processes, particularly for legacy applications.

Another bank holding company with more than US $500 billion in assets also used this approach when it needed to support a massive merger while maintaining continued access to legacy apps, providing a single sign-on, and using web-based apps. Radiant Logic provided the solution for rapid deployment to the lower domains and production, which, from an IT perspective, was a clever solution that reduced the risk of a failed acquisition.

Identity Unification is Essential

Getting a grip on identity in your organization is no longer a nice-to-have. Identity sprawl can hold back your business and increase your cyber risk.

Radiant Logic’s identity unification approach offers a powerful identity enablement solution that can help organizations who are modernizing their identity sources, undergoing digital transformation initiatives, migrating to cloud services, or going through mergers and acquisitions and combining disparate data sources.

The Identity Data Fabric results in increased flexibility, lower costs, and enhanced visibility regarding user behavior. Overall, it streamlines the process of identity unification and can radically simplify complex identity management initiatives.

Ready to find out more? Contact us today.

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