Depending on your role within an Identity & Access Management shop, successes are defined by various proverbial champagne-popping accomplishments. If your role is that of a Software Engineer, you and your colleagues give each other a pat on the back and an “atta-go!” on the day the major release of the product you’ve been working on is unleashed on the market. If sales is your thing, you get to flex your muscles and strut around feeling a little taller after you make that six-figure licensing sale. You feel a sense of finality to your recent efforts, and tomorrow you’ll start something new, whether it’s reviewing the design and functionality of the next major release of the product, or attempting to reel in the next big customer.
As an Identity & Access Management Consultant with an exclusive focus on solution implementation and customer success, I’ve felt that the analogous success-defining event was the day on which the solution that I designed and/or implemented went live in my customer’s environment. After all, the last task on all the Project Plans to which our work efforts are tied is “Go-Live”, and the date on which it happens typically and conveniently lines up with the day on which the last dollar of the project’s budget is exhausted. So sure, Go-Live is a day for project-based consultants to celebrate.
But the analogy is flawed, because there’s a catch… because in spite of all the efforts – sound requirements, an intelligent design, efficient configuration and code, robust testing, and a smooth production rollout – projects can still fail after their deployment in production. They can fail for any number of reasons, but the saddest reason of all is due to tiny, easy-to-fix misconfigurations or unexpected data being introduced to the solution. If only the implementation engineer were on-call to properly assess unforeseen issues, more often than not, the issue could be resolved with a line of code in minutes (regression testing aside!)
My colleague recently wrote about the importance of training in-house resources to maintain an IAM solution. And he’s right – any education is better than none. But I contend that it might be overly-optimistic to be under the impression that 100 hours of intensive training on any given IAM Solution will arm your in-house talent with the skills and experience to maintain and troubleshoot a complex and intricate IAM solution that has wide-ranging functionality from Password Management and Provisioning to Access Request and Compliance.
Fortunately, there is an easy and relatively inexpensive solution: when planning your IAM budget, earmark some extra hours for post production support from the IDMWORKS engineer who built your solution, or contact IDMWORKS after your implementation to initiate an ongoing support contract. IDMWORKS can add ongoing value to your organization well beyond just implementing your IAM solution , and the people in my line of work can celebrate our joint successes each day, instead of just during a handful of Go-Live events each year.