Employees and customers in today's competitive, tech-driven marketplace demand easy and quick access to resources and other IT services. However, to ensure security and compliance with stringent IT standards, access to these resources must be monitored and restricted. Organizations can handle such rising demand for their digital business with the help of cloud IAM solutions, which can provide various values, from helping users with forgotten passwords to controlling who has access to what data and apps, and even provisioning users across different platforms.
The real difficulty for firms is defining the right cloud IAM strategy that enables business agility and maintained user experience while also taking into account the limitations of legacy architecture and strict compliance requirements.
Defining the Role of a Comprehensive Cloud IAM Strategy for Digital Business
Protecting the growing identities against advanced threat actors is one of the major concerns in a cloud migration for a digital business. According to a survey from Strata Identity and Forrester (2022), managing user identities across clouds was cited as the top problem by 78 percent of IT decision-makers. 70 percent of respondents rated the need to strengthen security and safeguard data as extremely critical when considering a cloud migration. Nevertheless, current on-premises IAM technologies cannot be simply moved to the cloud without a migration plan. Since multi-cloud ecosystems are complex and can expand the attack surface, it is crucial for businesses to properly prepare a robust cloud IAM strategy. Identifying the specific roles of your cloud IAM strategy allows organizations to design appropriate and impactful approaches to achieve operational efficiencies, which include:
- Regulatory compliance
- Improved user experience and reduces password issues
- The right people are privileged in the cloud system
- Multiple operations for ensuring security in the cloud environment.
With its significant impacts on security and user experience in the cloud, a cloud IAM strategy has become crucial for improving digital businesses. For an effective cloud IAM strategy implementation that brings value to businesses, organizations should consider the following important elements.
4 Vital Elements in a Robust Cloud IAM Strategy for Digital Business
1. Alignment with the key stakeholders
Finding the optimal cloud IAM strategy for any business has to take into consideration the needs of several stakeholders. Those in charge of IT operations, application development, business strategy, and solution vendor relationship management should all be represented. These parties should be asked for input on the plan's direction, goals, and capabilities, and the plan itself should be shared with them on a frequent basis as it changes.
Users are the most critical stakeholder in an IAM strategy. In the end, it's up to the users to break firms’ security and make use of digital services. Therefore, maintaining security for an IT system without compromising user experience is essential to align cloud IAM initiatives with a firm’s business objectives. Moreover, compliance regulations, the need to privacy security of key partners and other third parties, and the firm’s overarching business plan frequently serve as the driving forces behind a cloud IAM strategy.
2. Frictionless user experience for enhancing digital transactions
As the volume and significance of digital transactions grows, so too the need to consistently provide an excellent UX experience. By 2024, businesses that prioritize employee and customer satisfaction will outperform their rivals by 25 percent (Gartner, 2022).
As a result, a strong security system should not cause firms to sacrifice simplicity and convenience. This is where a well-defined cloud IAM strategy comes into play; it allows firms to keep their assets secure while maintaining the user experience, which in turn increases operational efficiency. The results of this are significant and far-reaching, including increased customer retention, loyalty, goodwill, and longevity. For instance, a proper IAM platform will provide a variety of user services, such as a portal to request resources, data management, password reset, SSO, etc.
Traditional on-premises solutions have been implemented in a centralized setting, which is most effective when dealing with proprietary apps and known endpoints. This presents a roadblock for modern businesses that want to connect a broad range of devices and software to the network and provide their workers with the option of working remotely. Cloud IAM solutions are developed to further facilitate interoperability across devices and operating systems.
Furthermore, firms may deploy their workloads selectively across many cloud provider platforms, like OpenStack, Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and Docker. It is crucial to address two major approaches to authentication and authorization of workloads utilizing different providers to provide scalability in cloud IAM solutions:
- Designing an identity provider system allowing a user to be authenticated across different cloud services
- To mediate every user activity to each cloud provider system, the following scalability concerns must be addressed when designing an access control system:
1. Abstracting access control policies for usage across cloud providers.
2. Improving policy specification and enforcement for access control.
4. Continuous upgrading of cloud IAM resources
Organizations need to consider how they will reskill and repurpose their IAM talents. This demands to train that personnel who used to work on-premises in the new cloud-based IAM architecture and operations. Even more so at such times of rapid technological change, staff turnover is always a possibility. Therefore, it's crucial to define distinct scopes based on the experiences of the present IAM staff.
Companies should also check that their newly released apps and APIs are compliant with the most recent IAM development guidelines. Successful implementation of this initiative requires the formation of a cross-functional team consisting of practitioners from areas such as development, DevOps, cloud computing, security, and identity and access management.
The success of using technology to revolutionize a firm hinges on how well it fits with a well-defined business plan for achieving the intended objectives. When it comes to the success of an organization's digital activities in general, cloud IAM solutions play a crucial role. The effectiveness of cloud IAM initiatives, and the value they bring depend on the strategy the firm has developed. A cloud IAM strategy should aim to balance business needs with security concerns. Therefore, businesses can ensure that their cloud IAM services contribute to the achievement of their overarching goals, thereby realizing greater returns on their IT investments in shorter amounts of time with minimal errors.
Adnovum can offer a comprehensive Cloud IAM strategy based on security best practices to provide resilience in your cloud-based business operations, enabling your digital business to thrive.