How IAM Projects Dramatically Improve Your IT Organization
By Glenn Schwartz & Rebeka Wellmon
January 7, 2020
According to Gartner, Identity and Access Management spending will rise to over $11B in 2020, and every Information Technology organization now has projects and programs in place to leverage IAM to increase security, compliance and monitor employee application usage. While Identity and Access Management may seem like just another burden and set of challenges to IT shops, if executed well in a disciplined fashion, IAM projects can dramatically improve the performance and productivity of development efforts and security throughout the entire IT organization. The question is how is this possible?
To answer this question, it is important to understand the nature of IAM work. Simply stated, executing IAM projects requires IT to integrate many applications with a central IAM database so these applications can automatically be provisioned and deprovisioned. In this way, the organization can use the IAM tool to monitor which employees have access to which applications and what they can do in those applications. Sounds simple – but getting a large number of applications integrated in an orchestrated way can become a huge challenge.
Each discrete application to be integrated with IAM needs its own finite but sometimes complex development project. Each project must have its own plan (epic and stories), requirements, development resources and dependencies. Furthermore, if the requirements are not fresh and the application is not well understood, this can create blockers. Multiply this across the full spectrum of small projects running in parallel can quickly become daunting – there are many small moving parts that can quickly become an entangled web.
Furthermore, if a blocker arises on one integration effort that is out of the developers control (i.e. waiting for an API endpoint to be exposed by the application team the developer is working with) developers can end up waiting with nothing to do until the blocker is removed. If developers could be redeployed across projects with minimal effort it would be a huge productivity boost.
The best way to run an efficient process managing many smaller projects and achieve excellent development velocity and scale is to first develop a standard, disciplined workflow that can be repeated, yet is measured in a standard way. Having a standard workflow process where every project goes through the same gates (i.e. sprint ready, analysis, design, deploy, test and so forth) provides a standard measurable process from which to understand cycle times. Additionally, if the analysis documentation and requirements become accessible and updated, a developer stuck in a blocker on any project can be re-deployed easily in a Kanban fashion to maximize productivity.
While simple in description, this process must be rigorously measured, but once in place, this can become a game changer – development projects sail faster, and blockers can be tracked and mitigated quickly from a central tracking mechanism. As blockers come up that developers cannot fix by themselves, instead of having idle time, they can be reassigned to other development projects that are also being tracked until the blockers are resolved. Redeployed developers have documentation ready and can plug right in at a workflow stage they already understand as all projects are run by the same approach. This streamlined Agile process can be applied to manage, measure and accelerate all development efforts. The significant increase in development cycle times and throughout will delight business owners as more applications are enabled and completed faster!
Finally, the workflow process can be used to measure developer productivity by tracking and reporting on how much time it takes individual developers to get through each development phase. Developer design, development, and test cycle times can be measured for each developer to establish a baseline for the most and least productive developers and allow them to get help when they are not performing as well as needed.
Our IAM professionals at Regatta average over 10 years of experience each. To begin the process of setting up IAM solutions for your IT department or to get your stalled IAM or IGA projects up and running again, reach out to Regatta Solutions Group at email@example.com with any specific questions. Check out our website and other blogs for more information about Identity and Access Management as well as our solutions to IAM challenges.