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Choosing the Perfect IAM Solution: A Step-by-Step Guide for Your Organization


Anshul Chaudhary | January 30, 2023  I  7 min read

Choosing the Perfect IAM Solution: A Step-by-Step Guide for Your Organization

The importance of selecting the right Identity and Access Management (IAM) tool for your organization cannot be emphasized enough. Between the costs, time requirements, and organizational impact of IAM, it is paramount that organizations are extremely diligent in their decision-making process.

In this article, we’ll take a high-level look at how we guide our clients through selecting IAM solutions for their organization. And shameless plug – if you would like our team of solution advisors to help your decision, contact us today.

Step 1: Assess your organization’s requirements

In this stage, determine exactly what you need your potential IAM solution to accomplish for your organization. This could include user authentication, single sign-on (SSO), multi-factor authentication (MFA), compliance management, Identity Governance & Administration (IGA) and privileged access management (PAM).

Important: Identify key use cases

Consider the specific scenarios in which the IAM solution will be used. This might include managing employee access, securing privileged accounts, integrating with existing cloud services, or customer/third-party/vendor identity management.

Step 2: Evaluate your IT environment

Assess your current IT environment, including on-premises and cloud-based systems. Understanding your existing infrastructure will help you determine which IAM solutions integrate well with your current setup. Many of our new clients have existing IAM solutions in place that they need to modernize and/or aren't satisfied with. it's important to understand if your dissatisfaction stems from missteps in the implementation OR from limitations in the actual software/SaaS solution. 30% of our business comes from rescuing failing implementations - and sometimes simply rewiring your existing deployment might be your best bet.  

Important: Consider scalability and flexibility

Analyze your organization's growth roadmap and determine how much scalability and flexibility you will require of the IAM solution to adapt to future changes in your IT landscape. Consider your overall business goals - like digital transformation initiatives, budget saving initiatives, and employee or cusotmer experience iniaitives. Then examine your cloud infrastructure, SaaS and on-premise applications, and future expansion of identity management responsibilities across your employees, APIs, vendors and partners (third-party), and customers. 

Step 3: Consider compliance and security requirements

Ensure the IAM solution meets any industry-specific compliance requirements your organization must abide by (like GDPR, HIPAA, etc.). Compliance features can be critical for avoiding legal and financial penalties. I strongly recommned speaking with a solution advisor for strategic guidance to ensure their will be no gaps in your security posture and the solution will continue to comply with future regulatory standards in your industry.

Important: Ensure the IAM solution addresses organizational security requirements

Evaluate the security features of each IAM solution, focusing on aspects such as encryption standards, PAM capabilities, and how the solution handles data privacy on-premise and in the cloud.

Step 4: Assess user experience and accessibility

A user-friendly interface is essential for ensuring smooth adoption by both IT staff and end-users. A poor user experience can lead to your users trying to find workarounds, which defeats the purpose of the tool.

Important: Determine ease of integration

Consider how easily the IAM solution integrates with other tools and systems in your organization. Seamless integration can significantly enhance user experience and operational efficiency.

Choosing the Perfect IAM Solution: A Step-by-Step Guide for Your Organization

Step 5: Review vendor reputation and support

Research the vendor's reputation in the market. Look at customer reviews, case studies, and any known security incidents.

Important: Ensure that the vendor offers robust customer support, training, and professional services – or find a partner that does.

The level of support can be crucial, especially during the initial deployment phase. It can often be beneficial to work with an implementation partner during deployment to ensure the best fit solution for your organization’s needs. Many, if not all, IAM vendors will have a partner page on their website to help you find a service partner if you so choose. Our clients gain the most value from their IAM solutions by leveraging MajorKey's unique managed services offering that includes advisory and integration service hours. This provides ongoing strategy, design, implmentation and managed services for teams that don't have the internal resources to support IAM, automate processes, and improve the user experience and overall cybersecurity posture. 

Step 6: Perform a cost-benefit analysis

It’s important to understand the pricing structure of the IAM solutions. Consider not only the upfront cost but also long-term expenses like maintenance, upgrades, and additional feature costs.

Important: Evaluate the potential ROI of the IAM solution.

This includes improved efficiency, reduced risk of security breaches, and compliance-related savings. ROI evaluations are commonly offered by service partners and can be an excellent way to ensure you select the platform that presents the most value.

Step 7: Conduct a pilot test

Before full implementation, conduct a pilot test with one or a few of your shortlisted IAM solutions. This will give you a practical understanding of how the solution fits into your environment. If you have any unique uses cases, this is the time to have the vendors prove they can meet your needs.

Important: Gather feedback from IT staff and end-users

Their insights during this pilot test will be valuable in assessing the effectiveness and usability of the solution.

Step 8: Make a decision

Compile all the information and feedback gathered during the assessment and pilot phases.

Important: Engage key stakeholders for the decision

Getting buy-in from the key stakeholders in your organization in the decision-making helps to ensure that the selected IAM solution aligns with both IT and business objectives.

Step 9: Plan for implementation and beyond

Develop a clear implementation plan. This should include timelines, resource allocation, training programs, and contingency plans. If there are a large number of integrations required, map them out by importance and work in waves rather than trying to go all at once.

Important: Build for the future

Consider your organization’s cybersecurity and broader IT roadmap when implementing and integrating your IAM solution to ensure it will evolve with technological advancements and changing organizational needs.

Final Thoughts: 

Choosing the right IAM solution requires a careful and thorough assessment of your organization's unique requirements, IT environment, security needs, user experience, vendor capabilities, and budget constraints.

Anshul Chaudhary


Anshul Chaudhary, Principal Solution Advisor 

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