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If Time is Money, Then Identity Pays

Juliette Rizkallah, Chief Marketing Officer at SailPoint discusses the challenges posed by digital identities and data protection

Consider this. You are an IT leader at an enterprise organisation. You have not been living under a rock, and therefore are well aware that companies across the world struggle with cybersecurity.

Whether its teaching employees how to spot a potential phishing attack or dealing with the fallout from a ransomware hack – one fact of life remains certain: data breaches will continue to happen. All the while, as you are tackling these major cyber instances, you are also responsible for appropriately managing each employee’s identity. Think access approvals, user credentials, compliance reviews, and everybody’s favourite, the password reset. There are just not enough hours in the day.

2019 officially marks the eleventh year running of SailPoint’s annual Market Pulse Survey.

For a decade, we have witnessed the technology landscape evolve in ways we could only imagine. From the digital transformation to new regulations like CCPA to a more global workforce to the continued rise of Artificial Intelligence (AI) – this new digital world is changing the way we conduct business in irreversible ways. According to this year’s findings, we have deduced that incorporating automation—with the aid of AI/ML technologies—to cut down on time is a key ingredient for success. I guess the age-old saying, “time is money” really is true. And our data proves it.

Innovation is critical for driving towards that competitive edge. And yet, innovation does not go without an added layer of increased complexity. We have also witnessed that with dynamic technology comes the added workload – and more often than not, today’s typical enterprise is strapped for resources and time to address this workload. IT teams are longing for an automated world that incorporates AI and ML technologies. Technology that will make their lives easier. Let me set the stage to show you what IT teams across the globe are experiencing.

According to our findings, 85% of IT leaders say that identity-related tasks are part of their day-to-day job. Although high, this number makes sense, given the high volume of data, applications, and systems that come with managing credentials. Since compromised user credentials will continue to pose a huge risk to businesses, it is no wonder these leaders spend so much time managing those efforts. Furthermore, consider the amount of time needed to onboard employees securely and efficiently – IT leaders need comprehensive visibility and control into who has access to what sensitive apps at all times.

However, some parts of IT leaders’ jobs have also become bogged down due to administrative tasks. Nearly 70% of IT leaders manage their identity program multiple times a week or more.

We dug a little deeper and found those tasks included access approvals, password resets, and compliance reviews. While all these are all important areas of identity, these to-dos take up a lot of time and resources from an already overburdened IT team. Consider the amount of time these same professionals could save and leverage towards efforts that drive innovation – this is where AI and ML comes in.

Earlier I mentioned how AI was becoming a key player in the way we do business. Let’s apply that to identity. Our findings show that automation is at the top of IT’s ‘wish list.’ Over 60% of respondents said increased automation with the aid of AI and ML technologies would be the best way for their organisation to reduce time spent on identity-related tasks that do not require further manpower.

What do these stats mean, bigger-picture? Well, AI and machine learning have a place in the world of identity. As more companies and IT leaders recognise that some areas of their identity program can and should be automated, the adoption of an AI-enabled identity program is on the horizon.

With all of the ‘found’ time that IT leaders would have thanks to a more autonomous approach to identity, they would soon be able to choose from their wish list priorities instead: 1) Increase Automation (with the aid of AI and ML technologies); 2) Improve User Experience; 3) Address Emerging Risks; 4) Adopt New Technology.

The 2019 Market Pulse Survey further validates a critical point in the world of IT –identity and security are on the same team, and automation is the future face of identity. The one constant in life is change, and this is especially true for technology. And lucky for us, we are ready for it.

N.B. For the 2019 Market Pulse Survey, SailPoint commissioned independent research firm Vanson Bourne to interview 550 employees at organisations between 1,000 to 5,000 employees across Australia, France, Germany, the United Kingdom, and the United States.