My quest to bring Best Practices to Identity Management especially with Microsoft FIM / ILM

Monday, January 19, 2009

What’s new in Identity Lifecycle Manager 2, Ask the experts

Brad Turner and I are putting on a webinar on ILM 2.


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Monday, December 22, 2008

Business Problems and their Technical Roots

Business Problem

Possible Underlying Business Problem


Technical Cause

Business launches a strategic initiative late

Employees don't receive communications that they should

Don't have email accounts

Aren't in the right distribution lists

Lack of automated distribution list management and self service fulfillment

Employee  can't fulfill a customer order

Employees don't have access to resources

Accounts haven't been provisioned to the systems they need

Aren't member of the groups or roles they need

Lack of automated security group management and self service fulfillment

Leak of Customer Information


 stock affecting info


Valuable data is destroyed

Employees have access to resources they shouldn't


Former employees still have access to resources

Permissions granted too liberally


User accounts haven't been terminated

Lack of automated security group management and self service fulfillment


Lack of Automated deprovisioning

Customer Care Rep can't find  right person to whom they can escalate key customer problem

Employees can't find accurate, up to date  contact info for each other

Global address lists and other databases out of synch

Too many directories

No IDA tool to synchronize them

IDA tool hasn't matched the identities

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Business Problems VS Technical Problems

A business problem is when employees can't execute their job duties in an efficient fashion. In fact sometimes they are unable to complete the tasks at all. Business problems are especially costly when they directly affect customers. These problems can cause cash flowing into the company to be delayed as a customer waits to place an order, or to receive goods (and hence to pay), they can cause revenue to be lost as a customer temporarily takes their business to a competitor or a finds a substitute, sometimes this leads to customers forming new business relationships and loss of all future revenue from that customer. Non-customer affecting business problems may result in higher costs without affecting revenue. For example a problem on the job shop floor causes workers to put in overtime to complete customer jobs on time, raising costs without directly affecting the customer.

As Rodd Wagner and James K Harter point out in their book 12: The Elements of Great Managing company profitability is highly correlated with employees knowing what is expected of them, and when having adequate tools and materials (elements 1 and 2). When these two elements are short changed business problems result, costs go up and revenue goes down.

A technical problem is often the root cause of employees not having adequate tools or materials. A more specific definition could be that a technical problem is cause of the Information Technology department (people, process and technology) not being able to adequately fulfill a need expressed by the business. This inadequacy could be a matter of accuracy, timeliness, or consistency. It could also be a matter of lacking the capability. These are technical problems, like can't provision and deprovision accounts and entitlements quickly enough, accurately enough (deleted the account for the wrong Jane Smith), consistently enough (only 10 of the user's 16 accounts deprovisioned on the average per IDC) because the Identity Management system goes down frequently, or is too complex to change and the rules it enforces are outdated. Another possible technical problem could be that requests are lost or seem to take forever to be fulfilled either because the process supported by paper or a help desk ticket doesn't move efficiently. Requests may be fulfilled incorrectly, or inconsistently because the fulfillment is not automated and/or checklists don't exist or aren't followed.

Hence good managers look for ways to provide a knowledge of expectations and the sufficient tools and materials for their employees to do their jobs. I believe you'll agree that one of those great tools is ILM "2"

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