Worth the Investment: Implementing IAM Automation in 2021

Bruce Macdonald

March 30, 2021

The shocks of the pandemic have introduced a new “normal” for higher education institutions. Even now, as the timeline for when classes commence in-person still remains fluid for many higher education institutions, one thing is certain - remote-learning will remain part of the course mix for many higher education institutions now and in the future.

Whether classes shift to in person or remain online, identity access management (IAM) (and by-proxy security) remain critical to ensuring a safe and productive learning environment for students, teachers, and faculty in this hybrid learning future. However, protecting data and identities with an innovative and strategic identity and access management solution can seem like a tremendous task upfront for many colleges and universities. However, if they face the challenges head on and work to overcome them, IAM automation can pay dividends down the road, particularly in light of the aftershocks of the last year.

The Lessons of 2020

Perhaps more than any year before it, 2021 is a year when the payoff in IAM automation will far surpass the investment despite the obstacles of 2020. At many colleges and universities, barriers like budget, existing infrastructure investments, and executive buy-in still exist. The lessons of the past year have taught us that these barriers do not outweigh the crucial benefits higher-ed organizations need to stay nimble in a post-pandemic world. IAM automation can play a huge role in making your college or university more efficient, resilient, and agile.

Efficiency

Following the mass work-from-home migration at the administrative level and the lasting overnight need for remote classrooms, an unprecedented number of resources are being accessed remotely. Network complexity has grown immensely. Due to these new 2020 challenges, managing the provisioning and de-provisioning of entitlements has become a significant time consuming task without automation. Automating IAM processes that specifically handle the influx would help raise the efficiency of your college or university. 

This boost in productivity will lend more time towards strategic initiatives like funding new research opportunities, creating new department initiatives, and pursuing talent through scholarships and grants.

Resiliency

This past year’s black swan event taught us that anything can happen and to expect the unexpected. No post secondary institution can prepare for everything - even the most exhaustive risk planning may not have prepared for the fallout from 2020. Therefore, resilient IT frameworks are more necessary and relevant in 2021 than ever.

While higher ed leaders cannot plan for every contingency, they can ultimately choose more resilient IT infrastructures and proactive instead of reactive strategies. Automated task and identity management will keep you one step ahead instead of assessing the damage from a breach in manual processes.

This automated capability paired with powerful predictive technology like Hitachi ID Bravura Discover, the fastest, most accurate in-depth risk and threat assessment, complete with resolution recommendations, can create a robust and resilient technology portfolio. Time and again, the cost of a breach far outweighs the cost of process automation, so by avoiding the vulnerability beforehand, your higher education organization can save substantial resources.     

Agility

The simplified workflows and streamlined processes that accompany the digital transformation of IAM automation will save countless hours for your post secondary institution. When time might be the only thing more valuable than dollars, IAM automation can help your higher education organization accomplish more in less time. This agility and ability to move quickly on projects is crucial to succeeding during what will likely be a period of transition and hybrid learning structures in 2021.

Adaption

When you add improved efficiency, resiliency, and agility into your higher-educational institution’s technology repertoire, you’re not only more competitive but more adaptable. 2020 demonstrated that the most successful higher education institutions were the ones to adapt to new and ever-shifting remote learning paradigms quickly. IAM automation creates a strong yet nimble foundation for colleges and universities to succeed even in the face of these ever-changing headwinds. In 2021, a dependable, and adaptable quantity such as IAM automation is worth the investment and more valuable than ever.

Learn more about IAM automation challenges and benefits for higher education in our free resource: Higher Education IT Leaders Are Looking to Complement Access Governance With Automation.