5 Key Benefits of Marrying IGA and ITSM

written by
Jackson Shaw
Identity Governance
October 28, 2020

For today’s companies, IT service management is more than IT support. ITSM is about working behind the scenes to help employees to do the work that drives your business – providing a one-stop shop for service needs, upgrades, improvements, and asset management.

If IGA doesn’t play a critical role in your ITSM strategy, it should. We frequently hear from customers who are looking to better align IGA and ITSM, and our conversations with the analyst firm KuppingerCole often focus on this topic as well.

Simply put, it just makes sense to marry IGA and ITSM. There’s a relationship between every service that an employee can access and the role of that employee within your organization. Sometimes it’s a simple matter of convenience, such as automatically granting new hires in Sales access to the sales software. Sometimes it’s a matter of security and risk management, so employees with privileged accounts can safely view mission-critical data when they aren’t on the physical network.

Earlier this month, I delivered a keynote at the KuppingerCole IGA Solutions for ServiceNow Infrastructures virtual event (watch the keynote replay) focused on the alignment of ITSM and IGA.

At Clear Skye, we’re well positioned to talk about this, since we’re an IGA solution built on top of the ServiceNow platform – running natively without the need for custom integrations. Here’s a look at five key ways your company performs better when IGA and ITSM are able to work hand in hand.

Self-Service Requests. It’s one thing to automate service requests such as account or group access. Why not take that to the next level and apply logic to the request based on a user’s role? Say a VP of Operations in the Dallas office requests permission to join one Active Directory group. There are likely other groups for Operations personnel, VPs, and the Dallas office that she should also join – as well as legacy Active Directory groups that she should be steered away from. The same is often true for many other types of requests. If an employee wants access to the travel booking software, for example, he probably wants access to the expense reporting tool, too. Identifying and taking action on similar requests simultaneously will save time for users and ITSM alike. As an added bonus, your end-users will be using an interface that they already feel comfortable with: ServiceNow. That means increased productivity and faster time to value.

Separation of Duties. If a software engineer based in Asia is logging onto the network in the middle of the night to access a dev server, that’s not unusual. If a VP of Accounting is logging on from New York at 3 a.m. to access financial software, well, that’s a problem. Restricting access to certain systems – by requiring higher-up approval or denying access outright – can prevent activity both nefarious and accidental (such as an HR rep accidentally attaching the salary spreadsheet to a company-wide email). You could also take this level of access a step further – and protect valuable assets to boot – by restricting access to certain systems unless a user has completed security training, installed required patches, or updated potentially vulnerable systems, all by matching their privileges to the systems they have access to and the level of security those systems require. The ServiceNow Common Services Data Model (CSDM) gives you visibility and alignment in data value, utilization, hygiene, compliance, governance, risk and security.

Incident Management. Responding to open tickets is often a matter of hunting for valuable information such as what permissions a user has, what software versions a user is running, or whether that security training was completed. When you bring together ITSM and IGA, the analyst working on a ticket can pull up this information right away and solve the problem – along with identifying other issues that a user may need to address, such as expiring credentials. For organizations with thousands of employees, this improved efficiency can quickly save a full FTE on the Help Desk.

Change Management. Knowing the roles and privileges of all end users who will be impacted by a software upgrade or hardware replacement helps organization manage risk, plan backup support, schedule outages, and identify vulnerabilities. This has the clear benefit of minimizing the disruption to clinical business services. It also provides predictive and retrospective insight into which changes can be treated as low-risk repeatable actions and which changes require more extensive preparation, as well as knowledge of which roles are most likely to request which changes. Instead of being a hassle, change management can become an efficient and differentiating process for your organization.

Mobility. Employees who respond to incidents or manage deliveries on a large campus rarely have a physical office, so mobile apps are critical for their fay-to-day role. They’ve also become a lifeline for remote employees who are juggling school and family care and need the flexibility of mobile solutions. Marrying IGA and ITSM on the Now Platform is more than just being able to offer SSO for multiple mobile solutions – it’s giving employees a single point of entry for those solutions, one that’s maintained by a trusted partner in ServiceNow.

Looking to the Future

The ultimate goal of marrying IGA and ITSM is taking a more holistic approach to enabling your staff / people / teams. Instead of the stimulus-and-response process of opening and closing tickets to fix a single issue, it’s being able to draw on a wealth of data that’s no longer sitting in silos to automate when possible and evaluate risk when necessary – whether it’s risk from outdated security settings, risk from the combination of a user’s privileges, or a bit of both. This enables an organization to manage the present and plan the future, whether it’s updating critical systems, culling obsolete Active Directory groups, or updating admin privileges.

Few organizations have truly reached this point, however. Instead of breaking down silos and leveraging single control plans and common interfaces, the market has primarily focused on integrating and synchronizing data and workflows across two or more disparate systems. This only adds complexity – which is the last thing ITSM needs.

Request a call today and let us share our vision of bringing IGA and ITSM together natively on the Now Platform. We look forward to learning about your unique challenges and ways we can partner to build a better identity program.

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