Identity Governance
Erin Geiger, Director of Content at Lumos

Which IAM Tool Is Best?

The ideal identity governance tool set includes identity verification, access controls, and more. Learn the keys to an efficient and effective program.

As an increasing number of industries move toward using cloud computing and Software-as-a-Solution (SaaS) solutions, the importance of an effective identity governance framework only increases. Identity governance and administration (IGA) is a vital consideration for organizations looking to increase their visibility into various applications and access and reduce cybersecurity risks, without compromising efficiency.

Not all IGA tools are created equally, though, which makes finding the best IGA and identity and access management (IAM) solutions a little tricky. We’ve put this article together to answer a few of the most common questions about IGA and IAM. In it, we’ll…

  • Provide a brief overview of identity governance,
  • Define identity governance and administration (IGA) and identity and access management (IAM), and
  • Provide some tips for figuring out which identity management tool is best for your needs. 

That way, you’ll know what to look for—and the right questions to ask—when evaluating identity governance and administration vendors (and their solutions).

What Is an IAM Tool?

Identity management tools are used as part of a wider identity governance framework, primarily to put effective access management protocols in place to reduce security risks and make related processes more efficient. 

When you consider the sheer number of SaaS applications the average business uses (100+), it’s not hard to see how much of a difference the right tool or tools can make. Even with a relatively small number of employees, there is still a lot of work involved. For each employee and each application, access privileges must be determined and enacted—but that’s just the start. Every time an employee’s role changes, or their access needs change, it means more work for the IT team.

If this were all to be done manually, you can imagine how time-consuming, tedious, and simply inefficient it would be. If you have more than a couple dozen employees, this would almost require a full-time dedicated employee to oversee identity governance and access management.

With IAM tools, though, systems administrators can easily view and update user- and account-level permissions. In most cases, it won’t even require anyone to log in with admin credentials—especially with access management tools like Lumos that can automate custom workflows around application access and provisioning.

What Is an Example of Access Management?

Let’s say you just hired a new employee. Before they can begin on their first day, they’ll need to have several accounts set up and configured so they can access the systems they need to work, communicate, and collaborate. If you’ve recently hired multiple new employees, these tasks would need to be repeated several times.

As your new employee or employees begin working in their role, they’ll almost certainly need additional access, or for their access permissions to be modified. And each time they need something, it would mean, at a minimum:

  • The employee would need to contact IT about the app (or apps) they need to access.
  • From there, IT would need to review each request.
  • Finally, for each employee and each app, someone from IT would need to log in as an admin to set up or modify the appropriate controls.

You can imagine how time-consuming this becomes, especially for enterprise-level organizations. And that’s precisely the challenge the top identity and access management tools are designed to solve.

What Is an Identity Management Tool Used For?

An identity management tool is used for a wide range of objectives, from verifying identities and ensuring proper access to reducing cybersecurity risks and streamlining processes related to identity governance. By automating these workflows, companies can save time, energy, and money and enhance (rather than compromise) their overall cybersecurity posture.

Ultimately, finding the best IAM and IGA solutions comes down to assessing organizational needs, evaluating different solutions and vendors, and then implementing the one that provides the most bang for the buck.

How Do I Choose the Right IAM Solution? 

Here’s a checklist you can use to evaluate the top IAM vendors and solutions.

Vendor Checklist

  • Is the vendor’s IGA/IAM solution comprehensive enough to meet your needs? Consider their features lists carefully.
  • Do they prioritize your priorities? Some vendors will take their time to listen to your needs and ask further questions; others will rush to pitch their solution to you. Prioritize vendors that prioritize you.
  • Do they have a reputation for providing excellent service and outcomes? Seek out reviews and read any available customer stories or testimonials to really understand the type of relationship you can expect to have with your vendor.

Solution Checklist

  • Does this solution offer our organization’s must-have features? Before getting too in-depth with vendors pitching their solutions, take some time to create a “must-have features” list. Then, prioritize or stack-rank them to ensure that the most critical functionality is included in any solution you invest in.
  • Is the vendor reputable and willing to collaborate with you? An organization’s identity governance needs are always-evolving—so the solution you choose should be dynamic, intuitive, and easy to customize.
  • Does the vendor offer a live demo? You wouldn’t buy a car without a test drive or a house without a walkthrough, and your choice of identity management tools should be no different. Whether it occurs in-person or virtually, a demo of the platform helps to show how it actually works—rather than the vendor just telling you it works!

Identity Management and More: Meet Lumos

At Lumos, we’ve built a robust identity management platform that checks all of the boxes for IAM vendors and solutions—within a single platform. Whether you’re looking to consolidate vendors, reduce costs, or enhance your cybersecurity posture, we can help. 

With Lumos, you can:

Ready to elevate the IT experience for your organization? You can learn more by reviewing our website resources, reading customer stories, or booking your own demo.