When thinking about integrating customers, suppliers and other partners into your business through the use of technology, your approach to identity and access management (IAM) is a key consideration. Many supplier offerings in this space share a lot of common ground, however in a B2B context there are some specific requirements that can make the difference in terms of roll out and adoption. Prior to choosing a supplier or simply extending technology already in use we encourage you to ask the following 5 key questions.
As organisations extend their technology to partners to realise business benefit the importance of security cannot be overlooked. With much of the focus and energy flowing towards business requirements the issue of security and providing access are often overlooked until the later stages of the project. This can cause problems, not only in terms of the ability to realise the business benefit but also wreaking havoc with budgets and timescales.
Here are our top 5 tips to be aware of at the start of your B2B initiative:
Will it be possible for to use a federated access approach?
For other large organisations in your B2B community federated access has many advantages. Allowing many users from the partner organisation to access your services, minimise administrative overhead and avoid security issues related to the synchronisation of identities and passwords.
What self-service capabilities can be provide to my B2B community?
For smaller organisations the costs of implementing federated access are prohibitive. Self-service is an ideal alternative, providing capabilities not only allow individuals to request access, but also manage their access ongoing. A partner user is more likely to forget their username or password for example, who will address that issue? Without strong self service capabilities these tasks would typically flow to your service desk leading to increased operational costs and loss of productivity for your B2B community.
Is there the ability to delegate administration to individuals in the business or the partner business?
Problems with usernames and passwords are not the only issue that can have a big impact on your service desk. Although requests for access can be managed by self service capabilities someone who is trusted and understands the business context needs to approve it. Through delegated administration these decisions can be put in the hands of those that understand the request the most. Typically, line managers, partner managers or in some cases even the partners themselves.
How can I measure compliance with my governance policies?
As with any major system governance is a key part in measuring and controlling the access decisions that are made within your B2B community. The ability to demonstrate compliance with policy and more importantly identify where there has been non-compliance is critical to ensure that your organisations business interests are protected.
How much time and cost will need to be invested?
In the majority of cases all major identity and access providers will be able to provide the above functionality. However, it can be argued that anything is possible given sufficient time and money. Most vendors provide the building blocks for these solutions, however they typically require high levels of customisation by specialists in the product. This leads to substantial consulting bills, coupled with long delivery times and substantial investment from your own business resources. Look for platforms that are designed specifically for this purpose, can deliver requirements out of the box and can be delivered in a measurement of a few days, not months or years.
At ProofID, we provide a selection of fully managed identity management solutions for a wide range of different industries and sectors. By identifying next generation technologies, we can provide bespoke fully managed identity management solutions which perfectly complement your online services.
For a full range of our products visit our homepage, here. Alternatively, talk to one of our dedicated team members by calling us today on 0161 906 1002.