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Exploring the science and magic of Identity and Access Management
Wednesday, October 21, 2020
 

Identity Risks – Inexperienced Resources

Identity
Author: Mark Dixon
Friday, April 14, 2006
1:17 am

I love to watch professional basketball. The incredible moves, accurate shooting and tenacious defense exhibited by these polished, experienced players never cease to amaze me. I’m not a great fan of the Los Angeles Lakers, but it has been really entertaining this year to see how Kobe Bryant’s progressive experience blended with his raw athletic talent has produced incredible results.

One of my misguided college professors once proclaimed (seriously) that our minds are so powerful that any of us could become a star NBA player by thinking about it with enough focus and commitment. Maybe my thoughts could have made up for my short legs!

Unfortunately, too many companies subscribe to this same misguided philosophy: “We can implement Identity Management by ourselves, without guidance and expert assistance, by reading the manual and thinking about it long enough.”

Yesterday, I listened to Kevin Saye of IC Synergy, a Sun systems integration partner, give a great presentation about “Best Practices for IdM Workflow Development.” Before joining IC Synergy, Kevin implemented Sun’s Identity Management solution for 7-Eleven.

Wouldn’t you rather have someone like Kevin guide you through the process of implementing your Identity Management System? Someone like Kevin could help you avoid pitfalls he’s already experienced. Like Kobe Bryant has learned just the precise way to give a head fake, step back from a defender, and sink a long three-pointer, Kevin will help you know the intricacies of making your Identity Mangement stand up and work for you.

On the other hand, consider what an inexperienced team may do:

  • Make poor design/implementation decisions. Like it or not, you can implement these systems the easy way or the hard way. Why should you be the one to find out?
  • Choose a customized approach rather than leveraging built-in strength of the product. Too many implementation teams give up too soon and write some custom software before they discover how the product can fulfill their needs without all that customization.
  • Extend the testing/troubleshooting cycle. Experienced teams know how to test, how to look for problems, how to fix things quickly.
  • Undermine stakeholder confidence. Lack of experience can extend project schedules and erode confidence stakeholders have placed in the Identity project.

What should you do? Here are some of my suggestions:

  • Choose a qualified, experienced systems integrator. Get someone who has been there and done that – not a wannabe.
  • Use trained, experienced technical specialists. Demand the A-team from your integrator. Put your best people on the project.
  • Get good training for your people. Admit to yourself that focused education can shorten your learning curve.
  • Have experts mentor less-experienced participants. Lean on your integrator experts to help you become self-sufficient.
  • Engage your product vendor for expert services. You bought the product. Your vendor’s product experts can help you succeed.

I’ve come to grips with the fact that I’ll never be an NBA star, no matter how hard I think. I’ll depend on Kobe and his compadres to hit jump shots. And I’ll always encourage you to get expert, experienced guidance for your Identity Management project.

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