Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Business Intelligence from Identity and Access Analytics - Comments on Gartner Blog


Gartner Group's Earl Perkins has a great blog on unlocking business intelligence from the identity and access data that organizations collect. Earl's blog is titled "Time for Intelligence and Clarity in IAM."

Real Life Example of Identity and Access Intelligence
Earl's blog reminds me of a personal experience where Identity and Access Intelligence provided insight into the operations of the business. I was presenting to the CTO and CFO in preparation for an upcoming audit. Our quick analysis correlated HR employee records with user rights and existing application activity to identify dormant accounts, shared logins and levels of application usage.

The CFO got very excited when I presented the reports on application usage broken down by manager. He barked at me to drill down on 6 specific applications. The Identity and Access Intelligence showed usage of 5 applications had dropped off dramatically a few weeks ago and leveled off at around 10% of users, almost all of whom worked for one of three managers.

The 6th application's usage had shot up dramatically around the same time and leveled off at well under 90% of users AND there was zero usage by the staff of the same three managers. Suddenly, the CFO jumped out of his chair and excused himself. We sat waiting for 15 minutes until he came back.............................
Watch a video on the Veriphyr Identity and Access Intelligence Service .
On returning he strode up to the screen, poked at the report, and declared, "Have this report on my desk every day next week because those numbers should dramatically improve, or else." It turns out the CFO had oversight on the global rollout of an application migration where the 5 application were being replaced by 1 new integrated application.

The CFO had been frustrated that the migration had not been going as planned but when he asked for data on who was (and was not) using the application all his staff could provide was cryptic login ids and last login dates. Our Identity and Access Intelligence reports gave him clear intelligence into which managers were not cooperating in the migration based on daily user usage. Hence the 15 minute departure while he "talked" to the three managers about their responsibility to support the migration.

The CTO was pleased the project eliminated dormant accounts and caught shared logins. But the CFO was really pleased that the new applications usage numbers got dramatically better over the next week. This is a clear example of how the information trapped in IAM systems can be unlocked to improve the operation of the business.
"the primary value of IAM ... is to give a context ... to the business knowledge they already possess from other sources...where a business user says 'well now that I know who is doing this, I can make a decision'" - Earl Perkins of Gartner
Sources:
(a) "Time for Intelligence and Clarity in IAM." - Earl Perkins, Gartner Group

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