Smaller businesses, like large organizations, need to ensure that they are running their daily operations in the most efficient way possible in an effort to protect against the wasting of valuable resources. Small businesses spend a lot on numerous processes that their leaders may not even realize, and these processes can sometimes easily be simplified or streamlined so that they give the organization a quick ROI.
For example, let’s look at some processes that may be costing organizations more money than they know.
One process in particular is the manual account management process. Think of how much is involved with managing employee accounts, even for a small business. When an employee joins the organization they need accounts created for them. Someone needs to manually create these accounts in each system and application and create credentials for the employee. Then when the employee changes positions their access rights need to be changed. Finally, when the employee is no longer with the organization their accounts need to be manually disabled in each system. All of this work often requires an employee to handle account management full time, sometimes even several employees are needed for a medium-sized organization.
So how can small organizations reduce costs and make these processes more efficient, while also getting the best ROI? One of the ways they can do this is by automating the account management processes. This eliminates the need to have full-time employees performing these manual tasks. An automated account management process allows a manager, IT employee, HR or anyone else simply enter the employee’s information into a source system, check off which systems they need access to, and have all accounts automatically created. This also assists with any changes that happen throughout the year. Once that change is made in the source system, all other connected systems are automatically updated, without any manual action having to be taken. Without the need to manually make these changes, the need for several staff members to focus on account management is eliminated. Additionally, the company doesn’t need a highly technical employee to handle account management. Any designated employee can securely and easily make changes.
The same situation can be applied to password management. Often, when end users have a password issue they need to contact their IT department or helpdesk to resolve it. This takes up time for both the helpdesk employee and the end users. In a small business, there may not be a 24×7 helpdesk to call to resolve this issue. If there is a helpdesk or IT department, they might have a small staff, and focusing on password resets can take away from other important issues. An organization can allow end users to proactively deal with the password issue without needing a helpdesk. A self-service password reset solution will allow employees to securely reset their own password without needing outside help. Users simply correctly answer several security questions and can reset their password.
META Group recently conducted research on behalf of PricewaterhouseCoopers and concluded that helpdesk tickets for password resets cost $60.93 annually, per employee and up to 45 percent of all helpdesk calls are for password resets. A self-service password reset application can reduce that volume by two-thirds, saving a small organization a great deal of money.
Overall, small businesses might be wary about implementing any kind of technology solution because they are concerned about the budgetary implications as they want to ensure that if they are allocating resources to a certain solution that it can help them achieve the ROI in the quickest manner. IAM solutions streamline and automate the processes so that these tasks don’t need to be manually completed. In addition, many solutions allow employees be more productive and IT staff to focus their time on more important issues for the organization.
Dean Wiech is managing director of Tools4ever, a provider of identity and access management solutions.