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Exploring the science and magic of Identity and Access Management
Tuesday, June 18, 2024

The Expert Touch in Identity Management

Author: Mark Dixon
Wednesday, June 8, 2005
4:38 am

Expert: “A person with a high degree of skill in or knowledge of a certain subject.”

A couple of weeks ago, a customer was starting to hit his head against the wall. According to his calculations, at the current rate, loading data in preparation for final test would take 13 days – plus another 13 days when they moved into production. Aaaargh!

I asked one of our Identity Management architects to address the problem. In less than a couple of days, due to his counsel and guidance, the data load time was down to about 10 hours. Not optimal, perhaps, but certainly workable. Without the benefit of experienced-based insight, our customer may still be thrashing about.

There is no substitute for knowledge and expertise earned through tough, in-the-trenches experience. A classroom is only the beginning. Expertise doesn’t magically rise from the pages of a user’s manual. Theory doesn’t automatically become best practice.

Still, too many customers think they can go it alone, perhaps thinking that an Identity Management system is as easy to implement as just another shrink-wrapped software package.

It reminds me of one of my sons. He always had to learn lessons the hard way. I could tell him over and over to drive cautiously, avoid debt and attend class. But it was the expensive traffic tickets, hard-to-pay credit card bills and failing a calculus class that taught him valuable lessons. He didn’t like to accept counsel while he lived at home, but I’m relieved that now that he is married and has gained a bit more perspective, he regularly calls home for advice.

My fatherly advice for an up and coming Identity Management client?

  1. Get strong, experienced architectural guidance as you begin. We can help you select the right resources to provide this guidance.
  2. Use a strong, experienced team to implement your system. You can augment the team with trained people from your staff, but don’t short change yourself by thinking a team can take a class and become immediately proficient.
  3. Use a consistent series of design reviews and project checkpoints, where experts can help you stay on track.
  4. Work hard, but don’t be afraid to call for help.

Like my son, our go-it-alone customers can eventually emerge on top – maybe. But learning the lessons the hard way will always be more painful, time consuming and costly than if they had trusted the expert touch.


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