Digital transformation is driving organizations to integrate digital technologies into all areas of their business operations. For those who are successful, the benefits can be well worth it, including:
Better customer experience
More productive workforce
Deeper business intelligence
Stronger competitive positioning
Increased revenues and profitability
But digital transformation is also notoriously difficult. Some enterprises have yet to experience the benefits in the face of challenges that threaten to slow or even stall their digitization efforts. As they navigate the complexities of digital transformation, many organizations have hurdles to overcome. Obstacles around the management of multi-cloud and hybrid IT environments, remote workforce and partner access, and a growing number of devices is making digital transformation far from easy.
Multi-cloud and Hybrid IT Environments
Transitioning to the cloud is an important part of many enterprises’ digital transformation. But not every on-premises application has a SaaS substitute, and some on-premises software can’t effectively migrate to a private cloud. As a result, resources are often deployed across multiple clouds and in on-premises data centers, making distributed, hybrid IT environments a reality for most enterprises.
If their identity and access management (IAM) isn’t designed with hybrid IT in mind, these organizations must often rely on complicated workarounds that come with additional costs and a poor user experience. They also run the risk of inadvertently exposing sensitive data and information. The near-constant reports of “leaky S3 buckets” highlight the many ways AWS data inadvertently becomes public as a result of miconfiguring IAM controls.(3)
Remote Workforce and Partner Access
Increasingly, IT departments must provide access to remote workforces and outside partners. Whether employees are working from coffee shops on less than secure networks, or partners need access to an enterprise from their own offices, enforcing network-based access control is increasingly insufficient and difficult. And networks are only half the problem, as strategic partnership investments further complicate the notion of secure access by adding partner identities into the mix.
To address these challenges, enterprises are adopting an API-first approach and allowing applications to be developed by partners and other third parties to enable more seamless information sharing. But in solving one problem, another has been created. The growing trend toward APIs is also accelerating the pace of data breaches, as evidenced by an early 2019 North Carolina State University study that revealed over 100,000 GitHub repos have leaked API or cryptographic keys.(6) Combined, these trends leave enterprises in the unenviable position of managing numerous identities from various networks creating infrastructural complexity.
Consumer Devices, IoT and BYOD
The number of devices that consumers rely on is on the rise. It can be a tablet, phone, laptop or even a watch. These devices are connected to the internet and access various networks and data everyday, increasing the points of entry for organizations which in turn carries increased security risk.
But there are convenience and productivity benefits that enterprises must consider as well. Users want the ability to access services and data from any device, including IoT devices. Yet not all devices provide the same level of assurance that users are who they say they are and that they haven’t been compromised. To make things even more complicated, many of these consumer-owned IoT devices are increasingly used for work purposes.
As the quantities and types of devices continue to expand, enterprises need to find ways to provide secure access to their customers and employees no matter what device they’re using.
Digital Transformation Demands Intelligent Identity
Digital transformation is capable of driving business growth by opening up opportunities to create new value chains and partnerships. But it’s also making it more challenging to secure access for workforce and customer use cases.
Adopting a Zero Trust security strategy allows you to open your applications and data to anyone, anywhere, with minimal friction and maximum connectivity. Zero Trust enforcement enhances security by shifting the line of defense from the network perimeter to individual resource perimeters. In doing so, a Zero Trust approach provides the confidence needed to advance digital transformation initiatives.
But to enforce Zero Trust, you need the ability to ensure that users, devices, applications and transactions are always authenticated and authorized, no matter which network hosts them. Intelligent identity provides these capabilities.
Identity provides the control plane in a world where real-time access is needed across an expanding array of applications, APIs, devices and engagement channels. Intelligent identity is able to match the risk of a user’s action in any of these engagement channels with a tailored, appropriate response to provide the ideal balance of security and user experience.
Using AI, intelligent identity is able to continuously learn and detect patterns to identify anomalies and keep up with the latest security threats. Whether users are attempting to log in, access certain applications, request data or complete a transaction, intelligent identity leverages risk signals, user and device context, pre-configured policies and AI to keep users productive and enterprise resources secure across a range of deployments.
Intelligent identity provides the flexibility to align identity and access management with an enterprise’s specific resources, customization needs and preferred deployment model. It also provides centralized control to optimize the balance of security and convenience for all primary use cases.
To learn more about how intelligent identity can advance your digital transformation, get the white paper.
1 Weiss, Keith. “Valuing the Public Cloud: Taking a workload view.” Morgan Stanley Research. June 27, 2018.
2 2019 State of the Cloud Report. RightScale/Flexera.