All companies are in the business of efficiency. As you take a look across the landscape of American businesses, you’re likely to notice a common barrier to achieving more efficient technology systems: siloed business units.
When planning technology changes or system consolidations, an often-overlooked tool for breaking down silos is security role planning. Security role planning, also referred to as identity and access management, is the process by which users are assigned access to technology. Effective, sustainable security role planning requires an understanding of human resources information and the capabilities of your selected technology. These elements are then combined to create roles which simplify the onboarding and continued use of technology.
Frequently, organizations approach role planning with a “path of least resistance” mindset. With this mindset, roles are translated from the current state to the future state as-is, without consideration for the future of the organization. This is a crucial mistake that perpetuates existing organizational silos.
Developing Sustainable Security Roles
1. Revisit your job descriptions and compare similar job tasks
An essential component of building a scalable security role plan is creating access plans with an agnostic approach to organizational structure. Building with only the current org structure in mind prevents future flexibility. Instead, compare employee tasks across functions and develop roles based on what employees need to do, instead of what their job titles are.
2. Identify common systems and processes used across teams
Often without realizing it, users in different parts of an organization will mirror each other’s daily processes with only slight variations between them. An example of this may be two employees using the same application to monitor a project workflow. One employee may evaluate the project to understand financial needs, while another evaluates the project to understand future personnel needs. Both employees, however, likely need the same level of information and can work from the a common security role. Ultimately, identifying as many common security roles as possible will allow for greater efficiency across the organization.
3. Categorize data into frequently-used combinations
The final quick win, and perhaps the easiest, is to evaluate data and categorize it based on the most commonly used combinations within each application. By removing the focus on the users and focusing on the data, it’s easier to see patterns of how users do their jobs. This allows for a refreshed, data-backed understanding of what essential applications and information look like to different user groups.
These three steps will allow you to have a more precise understanding of how your organization interacts with data, which will in turn enable you to start laying the groundwork for efficient role creation. It’s often tempting to skip this part of the technology change process in favor of maintaining the status quo. However, teams willing to build in time to explore this level of planning at the beginning of a technology change initiative will find that this adjustment will enable change initiatives to take hold faster. Additionally, the changes you implement today will continue to create efficiencies by reducing the number of one-off security roles used by your organization.
Whether your organization is looking to make a move to the cloud or considering shifting work management software, do your team a favor and make a move toward scalable security role management. Contact a consultant today to learn more.