While it's hard to show direct returns on investment from an IAM solution, companies can't risk 2018 without one. Here are the most salient benefits to help you make a business case for an IAM budget.
No one needs to tell you how important Identity Access Management (IAM) is to your company. You are well aware of the security risks, operational inefficiencies and missed growth opportunities that the business will suffer without a modern IAM solution.
There's only one problem. Budgets are tight and no one wants to add a new line item to the budget that doesn't provide a guaranteed return on investment. The good news is that most IT budgets are increasing in 2018. How can you convince your company that a modern IAM solution is worth the money?
You need to have a killer business case that the budget committee can't ignore. It needs to clearly and concisely illustrate how IAM will save the company money and directly impact growth.
Here are three ways to grab management's attention and have them sipping the IAM cool-aid.
1. Don't Increase the Security Budget, Reallocate It
Mobile devices and cloud computing have changed the way companies approach security, yet most budget allocations have not evolved to address the new risks associated with these off-premise assets.
The reality is that most companies need to increase their overall security budgets to deal with the current barrage of cyber attacks, but if that is unlikely, you need to adjust the budget to prioritize based on threat.
For example, the average IAM spend currently represents about 5 percent of the security budget, yet compromised identity and access is the cause of over 80 percent of breaches. Year after year, companies invest most of their security budget in network perimeter protections.
Cybercriminals don’t care about the Fort Knox perimeter you spend millions on to maintain. They simply go phishing to steal credentials or infiltrate a vulnerable web app outside the firewall. The security strategy must change, and the budgets align with this new reality.
Major Security Breaches Start with Stolen Credentials
Equifax, Target, Deloitte, and Yahoo are just a few of the huge companies with multi-million dollar security budgets who fell at the hands of compromised usernames and passwords.
Many of these data breaches could have been prevented with a simple multi-factor authentication protocol from an IAM solution. Instead, hackers caused billions of dollars worth of damage. Unfortunately, 2018 is expected to be even worse.
Criminals are becoming more sophisticated in their phishing schemes, even using artificial intelligence and automation to collect intelligence that will get them through any firewall.
IAM companies like Auth0 spend their time staying one step ahead of hackers who target identity and access. From encryption to password breach detection, IAM solutions offer several layers of protection to keep your logins secure. When your login is secure, your data and customers' information is in a safer place.
Secure Your Applications Before You're Exposed
Most enterprises have over 700 apps in use that are operating on personal mobile devices all over the world. When you have so many apps with company data outside the traditional security perimeter containing, you are extremely vulnerable to an attack.
IAM is becoming more and more complex as authentication and access to all of these applications must be managed and protected. Companies without a comprehensive IAM solution are failing with an estimated 25 percent blaming their apps as the source of breaches. The reason for 95 percent of these app attacks is stolen passwords.
Auth0 offers several approaches to secure your apps without losing the convenience of accessing them on the go. Solutions like single sign-on, social login and passwordless add the necessary security to credentials and allow you to monitor login behaviors to flag suspicious activity.
It is clear that IAM is a critical piece of your company's security strategy. Juniper Research predicts that cybercrime will cost businesses over $2 trillion by 2019. If the past is the best predictor of the future, the majority of those crimes will come from inadequate IAM.
2. IAM Creates Efficiencies That Lead to Cost-Savings
IAM solutions are usually thought of as solely a security expense, but the reality is that IAM contributes to other facets of the organization that help drive efficiencies and save money. If you can quantify these cost-savings, you are more likely to secure an IAM budget.
The largest line item on an IT budget is often for utilities, which include things like hardware, help desk, network costs, and maintenance. These costs make up over 60 percent of mostIT spending, and they cause frustration for budget managers because the numbers are huge and it's hard to explain the value.
Anytime you can reduce these dead costs, managers will listen. IAM tools can automate several labor-intensive processes that currently put a strain on IT and drive their utility budgets through the roof.
Self-Service Access Reduces Help Desk Resources
Imagine you are locked out of your company's analytics application and you forgot your password. If your organization has an updated IAM solution, the process is easy. You reset the password and verify your identity with multi-factor authentication.
If your company does not have the right IAM solution, resetting passwords or verifying a device can be a long and frustrating experience. It usually involves emails and calls to a help desk. IT then has to waste time updating access on their end to get you back into your application. The process is unproductive and incurs unnecessary costs.
You can do a quick calculation of current help desk costs and determine how many hours were dedicated to helping customers or employees regain access from an interrupted login experience. Even a small drop in the percentage of help desk tickets might create an ROI that pays for the entire IAM investment for the year.
Automate Certain IT Maintenance Tasks
IT departments are swamped. Some of the work they are doing can be automated, which would not only save the enterprise money on resources but also free your IT team up to focus on innovation and growth initiatives.
For example, IT routinely conducts access reviews to ensure the right employees have access to the right systems and unauthorized people are kept out. Without an IAM tool, IT managers have to do this manually which can take weeks of pulling user extracts, formatting files and going through all the data piece by piece.
Auth0 streamlines this process by centralizing access control of every aspect of user ID including creating and provisioning users, password resets and blocking unauthorized employees. What once took weeks can be done in a few hours.
IT spends a lot of money on utilities that don't help drive growth for the enterprise. Showing your company how an IAM solution can remove a chunk of that budget will be well received.
3. Share the Budget with Sales and Marketing
There is an excellent business case to asking sales and marketing to chip in for the IAM solution. Why? IAM can help drive conversions and maintain customer profiles, driving up to 30% efficiencies in sales and marketing.
Successful sales and marketing rely on understanding your customers and delivering an experience that will lead to conversion. IAM solutions like Auth0 can provide customer profile data through social sign-in to help improve targeting and craft messaging around the customers' interests.
IAM also enhances the user experience by removing the barriers of registration or forgotten login credentials. In fact, when you implement a user-friendly login process, you can increase conversions by 20%.
IAM Tools Update Your Customer Contacts
Sales teams rely on their CRM to keep track of all their future and past customers. It is the salesperson's digital Rolodex and it is their lifeblood.
Unfortunately, every year about 30% of the customer data becomes outdated because people move around and change their info. When this happens year after year, your CRM becomes a big wasteland of stale information that makes tracking customer contacts a full-time job.
An IAM system can help solve this problem by letting your customers manage their own identities. When a customer changes a job or a phone number, they will update their information in their single sign-on account, which is tied to your CRM system. This will ensure that you can keep track of your customers and not risk losing future sales because of bad data.
Personalized Marketing Drives Sales
Every marketer knows the power of personalizing the customer experience. In fact, personalization affects all areas of marketing, reducing acquisition costs by as much as 50 percent and increasing sales by up to 15 percent.
IAM tools help facilitate personalized marketing by aggregating your customer's data across various marketing channels to create a single view of your customer. This is achieved through single sign-on, where the user logs into one account to gain access to their other application.
In addition to aggregated data, Auth0 enables social login, where users sign into their apps through a social account like Facebook or Twitter. When your customers use social login, you are able to learn more about their interests and target based on location or special events like a birthday.
Personalization requires customer data that goes beyond demographics. When an IAM solution delivers the deeper profile data and helps keep your CRM system updated, sales and marketing will realize they need an IAM tool for more than security. If you can't find the money in the IT budget, you have a valid case for asking sales and marketing for help.
IAM Affects the Entire Enterprise
As a security tool, IAM has an extremely compelling business case for an adequate budget. With $2 Trillion on the line from cyber attacks, IAM becomes a no-brainer.
But IAM is more than a security solution, it enhances productivity and improves how users interact with your company. These use cases have tangible benefits that can be quantified. Whether it is by saving costs within IT or driving revenue by supporting sales and marketing, IAM does have a powerful ROI story.