Once a niche subset of Infosec, Identity and Access Management (IAM) now sits squarely in the center of enabling digital transformation. The demands for advanced IAM capabilities continue to grow: IAM programs (and those who run them) must evolve to deliver an agile, adaptive, centralized service that enables business innovation with minimal friction while ensuring security and safeguarding privacy. Many enterprises are turning to managed services providers to help deliver.
Today we’ll talk about IAM challenges driving demand for managed services and how managed services have evolved and matured over the past few years to a point where it is the preferred approach to managing IAM for many top enterprises.
Top 3 Business Challenges Driving Managed Services Demand
IAM has always been complex, even when it was just securely connecting employees, systems, devices, and processes. The added challenge of securing consumer identities, maturing business identity needs (partner, BYOD, cloud), as well as rapidly advancing IoT requirements creates an environment that requires a long-term IAM roadmap vs. one-off projects. IAM services and solutions are expected to evolve at a rapid pace over the next 5 years as they struggle to keep pace with new business models, ecosystems, and access points. This has already brought an explosion of new vendors to the space, challenging IAM pros to stay on top of industry advancements.
Evolving Business Needs
Many organizations continue to struggle with identity sprawl with monolithic on-premises legacy vendor solutions that don’t easily integrate, coupled with homegrown/hardcoded proprietary workarounds. These environments all but ensure IAM teams are not equipped to offer an agile, centralized service to support business innovation.
There is a critical shortage of cybersecurity skilled talent in general and those with identity and access management experience are in even higher demand. IAM teams are already struggling to fully staff their teams. The talent shortage combined with the need for surge capacity (staffing up when adding or upgrading capabilities), has organizations looking to augment their core team.
Trends Driving Managed IAM Services Maturation
Maturing MSP Security Model
The past 2 years has brought a marked change in customer demand for, and broad acceptance of a managed service environment with enterprises continuing to mature in their comfort level and ability to keep more sensitive information off-premises. This can be partially attributed to the continued evolution of and comfort level with the security of cloud environments and their ability to manage sensitive information.
Broad Adoption/Acceptance of Cloud Architecture
As an extension of #1, cloud adoption has reached mainstream maturity with more public clouds and a multi-cloud architecture as the enterprise norm. This makes managed services a more appealing and beneficial model.
Shifting Budgetary Model
Finally, the ability for enterprises to acquire IAM solutions in an OPEX vs CAPEX subscription is driving vendors to either retrofit or redevelop offerings to accommodate an MSP program. Legacy on-premises vendors are moving aggressively to embrace cloud and/or IDaaS as their primary business model and are building out MSP offerings or partnering to provide them.
These forces are increasingly driving enterprises to turn to managed services partners to help them attack IAM through a variety of partnership styles from fully hosted/managed services, to managed IDaaS, to remote hosting, to managed on-premises IAM solutions to flexible support services that can augment teams during critical projects. Read The Time is Right for Managed Services for IAM to learn more about how an MSP can augment your IAM team.