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Reducing IAM Technical Debt with an Identity Data Fabric Approach

In today’s rapidly evolving digital landscape, the complexities of managing identities across various systems and platforms have left many organizations grappling with the looming specter of IAM technical debt. Identity and Access Management (IAM) is no longer a static component of enterprise IT but a dynamic and critical piece of the cybersecurity puzzle. Reducing IAM technical debt becomes paramount to ensure security, compliance, efficiency, and ultimately, a robust digital ecosystem.

Understanding IAM Technical Debt  

Technical debt in the realm of IAM is accrued when new tools are bolted on, homegrown tools become outdated, shortcuts are taken, or IAM processes and solutions fail to evolve with the system’s needs. The newly released “Reduce IAM Technical Debt” paper by Gartner analysts Nat Krishnan and Erik Wahlstrom points out that siloed IAM tools, legacy applications, and poor IAM hygiene are prime contributors to this debt.

Gartner’s paper outlines five key challenges that result from IAM technical debt. Enterprises must take a proactive approach to tackle these challenges posed by nonstandard or legacy applications and incomplete discovery processes. As operational complexities magnify, the need for strategic simplification grows.

Reducing IAM Technical Debt without Disruption 

The adoption of an Identity Data Fabric aids in reducing operational bottlenecks and unwinds the accumulation of technical debt. Radiant Logic’s solutions empower organizations to modernize outdated systems and tools, while optimizing their identity infrastructure for reliability, performance, and security. By consolidating directories and sunsetting obsolete technologies, our customers have achieved remarkable cost savings and operational efficiencies. Let’s take a closer look at the steps involved in implementing this approach.

Step 1: Detailed Discovery of the IAM Environment

The first step is to conduct a detailed discovery that addresses all identified challenges, including legacy systems and applications. This process unravels the complexities of the existing identity landscape, laying the foundation for an optimized IAM environment. A comprehensive and ongoing discovery process is crucial not only for efficiency but for security.

“Organizations lack comprehensive discovery processes for accounts and entitlements, and dashboards that provide insights of what’s found. Processes often miss a large set of users such as contractors, partners or machine identities. The discovery process may be limited to a one-time activity and not be continuous. This results in a static view of identities, leaving critical blind spots in terms of threat vectors for a part of the IT surface area. Poor observability limits IAM operation and weakens the security posture of an organization.” —Gartner

Step 2: Integrate and Consolidate Siloed Tools  

The second step involves integrating and consolidating various IAM tools and systems, such as Active Directory, LDAP directories, and legacy and SaaS applications. This process eliminates data silos and provides a single view of identity information. As stated in the paper from Gartner,

“Organizations must move from many user identities to a single identity that allows visibility into, and control of, access while mitigating risk.” —Gartner

Step 3: Enable Modern Identity Protocols  

Lack of interoperability and lack of support for modern protocols hinders adoption of security best practices and delays deployments. Composability is key to a mature IAM architecture. To enhance operational agility and the security posture of IAM environments, RadiantOne allows modern identity protocols such as OAuth and OpenID Connect to be stitched into legacy systems, without application customization. This integration enables secure and seamless access for both internal and external users, reducing the risk of data breaches—while minimizing further accrual of technical debt.

Step 4: Flip the Switch to RadiantOne 

With RadiantOne you can wire together your entire identity data infrastructure in the background and create a single global profile for each identity. Once that is complete, you just flip the switch to RadiantOne and your data and access will continue to flow seamlessly. You can then start to decommission older platforms without disruption—or maintain legacy sources while embracing modern applications.

Case Studies and Expert Insights on Reducing IAM Technical Debt 

Organizations that have adopted the Identity Data Fabric approach have experienced remarkable enhancements in their IAM capabilities, resulting in substantial cost savings and operational efficiencies. In collaboration with Forrester Research, we conducted an extensive Total Economic Impact Study involving 5 long-time Radiant customers. The findings indicate that by leveraging Radiant Logic, a composite organization can effectively reduce technical debt by $9.2 million over a span of three years.

Here is what our customers had to say:

  • An IAM lead told Forrester: “Since we adopted Radiant Logic we have been able to eliminate ineffective outdated technologies and transition away from old data repositories.”
  • A principal IAM architect shared: “With Radiant Logic we have been able to consolidate directories into a single platform, and we have been able to decommission identity silos and all the operations and the tech stack that we built to keep that old architecture up and running.”
  • A principal IAM architect said: “We were spending thousands of dollars a year maintaining old directory architectures. By bringing in Radiant Logic, we have been able to streamline the operations to one system and have been able to remove a lot of technical debt.”
  • A senior IAM leader told Forrester: “We wanted to address technical debt. Ever since we moved our data into Radiant Logic and started using it as the authoritative data store we have been able to eliminate a lot of complexity and redundancy and avoid other technology renewals.

RadiantOne Identity Data Platform Offers a Clear Path to Mitigate IAM Technical Debt  

The RadiantOne Identity Data Platform offers a tangible path to mitigating IAM technical debt. As affirmed by the insights drawn from Gartner’s expertise and the documented results from Radiant customers, the benefits of modernizing your IAM infrastructure extend well beyond immediate cost savings. It unlocks potential for secure, efficient, and scalable growth. So, if you’re still struggling with IAM technical debt, it’s time to unravel the complexities and unlock the potential of identity data as an asset that can transform your organization for good.

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