How Identity Enables and Enriches Your Digital Workflows

written by
Paul Walker
Identity Governance
June 30, 2021

A new generation of workflow automation tools is streamlining the creation of digital workflows that improve efficiency and customer engagement. As exemplified by ServiceNow’s Now Platform, these workflow tools make it possible to realize ambitious projects for digital transformation (DX) and beyond.

One aspect of workflow automation that tends to get left behind, however, is identity management. As workflows cut across multiple systems, user identity needs to keep up. Otherwise, the very processes you are redesigning may become cumbersome or insecure.

Why Identity Is Critical for Success with Process Redesign

Workflow automation is not new - yet as organizations adopt platforms like ServiceNow, they can more easily redesign their processes than they could with earlier generations of workflow automation tools. ServiceNow offers “single-pane” organization for workflow automation, which allows for low- or no-code application development activities and workflows delivered through a Kanban-style board. It’s easy to connect to enterprise applications. Users can also integrate and orchestrate third-party activities using Now’s IntegrationHub “spokes” to connect to popular business applications.

It may not seem obvious at first, but DX have a great deal to do with identity management and identity governance and administration (IGA). For any of these newly imagined processes to work as designed, every player must have the right access to the right applications at the right time.

We’ve written before about employee onboarding, which runs much more smoothly when multiple users aren’t interfacing with multiple siloed systems just so one employee can do their job.

Another important example is segregation of duties. Most enterprises want to make it as easy as possible for employees to submit expense reports and get reimbursed – in some cases rolling out mobile apps for submitting reports. After all, no one likes to wait for their money. But it’s important to have the right controls in place to block unwanted activities. The manager of a regional office shouldn’t be able to approve their own expenditures just because their boss is offsite.

Identity management native to ServiceNow enables IGA teams to monitor the identity warehouse and ensure that no one has been granted so-called “toxic role combinations” across applications or services that typically sit in silos. (And if they do have improper access, it’s easy to see at a glance who approved it – and needs a stern talking-to.)

The (Often Missing) Essential Element

Making identity part of process redesign can be challenging. Without the right tools, putting identity management into workflows is a complex proposition. But, here’s the thing: It isn’t going to get less complex. The driving force behind DX is to make the business more successful—helping to recruit, retain and delight customers and so forth. The identity management part of the equation simply needs to be solved, one way or another.

Focusing on business value in workflow automation means making the identity component as seamless as possible. If identity turns into a major digression and use of resources, that will detract from the business-facing outcomes that the process redesign seeks to realize. Solving for identity and business value in workflow automation requires an identity solution that is part of the workflow automation platform.

Solving for Identity and Business Value in Workflow Automation

Clear Skye IGA is an identity management and governance solution written right into the Now Platform. It’s a “spoke” in the ServiceNow workflow. The solution does not require the use of application programming interfaces (APIs) or coding. Now users can make identity and access control part of the workflow automation with relative ease.

Business process redesign is happening, as platforms like Now make it easier to automate workflows and rethink processes. Identity must be part of the redesign process, however. Without identity management, process redesign risks making the business less efficient and secure. It’s not an easy problem to solve – and it has to be, since identity is security for today’s enterprises.

It is imperative to focus on business value above all else when redesigning processes. The competition is definitely hard at work on their version of redesign, implementing DX and comparable projects to connect better with customers and enable operations to run more profitably. Clear Skye offers a solution. As a native element of Now, it enables users to make identity part of process redesign.

Watch KuppingerCole + Clear Skye Video Replay

Enrich Digital Workflows with Identity: How to Use Identity to Design & Automate Business Processes

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