From Strategy to Implementation: A Short Guide to the Identity Governance and Administration (IGA) Roadmap

Kari Vierimaa profile

Kari Vierimaa

Senior Security Consultant

Huhtikuu 19, 2023 at 09:00

Do you know which of your employees have access to which business applications? Do you know who approved that access and why? Are you sure that access is removed when it is no longer needed? If you have an existing IGA solution, does it meet your current needs and compliance regulations and support your cloud strategy?

The overarching goal of Identity Governance and Administration (IGA) is to create an easy-to-use, centralized solution that grants secure access to systems across all your applications and makes that access easy to review and audit.

Nixu has successfully conducted IGA roadmaps for several dozens of organizations and has been responsible for a similar number of IGA solution implementations. Based on this experience, Nixu knows what it takes to create and deploy a successful IGA solution. To succeed, you need three essential ingredients:

  1. Top management and stakeholder involvement
  2. A clear and actionable roadmap
  3. An honest and proactive IGA partner

Why you need modern IGA

In today's world, you must stay ahead of cybersecurity threats, comply with regulatory requirements, manage risks, and effectively manage employees' access to information. IGA covers the policies, procedures, and technologies required to manage digital identities and access rights across your IT systems.

Usually, organizations use hundreds of different applications both in on-premises environments and in the cloud. To complicate things, each of these may have dozens of roles with different privileges. When you consider these numbers, multiplied by the number of your employees, consultants, and partners, managing who has access to what and when becomes an overwhelming task. 

Entrance woman accessing

Collaboration and management support are necessities

One of the most important prerequisites for delivering a successful IGA solution is top management's support. It also requires planning and collaboration across many functions: Human Resources, IT, Security, Governance and Risk Management, and business functions.

Based on Nixu’s experience, a common reason behind IGA problems is the lack of proper governance. In many cases, an owner for IGA has not been appointed and the roles and responsibilities for managing and developing IGA are not clear. Too often, IT is placed in a central role for IGA simply because IT runs and maintains the tools and infrastructure. In fact, the ownership of IGA should be higher up in the organization, ideally in the Information Security or Risk Management unit.

Often, a clear development plan is missing, there is no development roadmap, and the potential benefits are not fully understood. As a result, nobody has a comprehensive view of IGA, and IGA doesn't get the attention it needs.

A roadmap makes the business benefits of IGA visible

Implementing an IGA can be a costly endeavor, but the costs should be viewed in the context of the business benefits:

  • An IGA solution automates identity lifecycle management processes, saving time and resources. This can be especially valuable if your organization is growing rapidly or undergoing digital transformation.
  • You can streamline user provisioning and de-provisioning, password management, and access request processes. This can significantly reduce the workload for IT teams.
  • IGA is crucial in lowering the potential damage resulting from the misuse of excessive access rights. It provides a comprehensive view of all identities and is essential in ensuring that end users only have the access rights they genuinely need.
  • An IGA solution helps you comply with regulatory requirements such as GDPR and NIS2.

Your chances of succeeding in your IGA solution deployment and achieving these benefits are a whole lot greater if you establish a cohesive IGA roadmap consisting of clear objectives, stakeholder buy-in, and defined business processes.

Nixu’s IGA Roadmap project contains the assessment of the current IGA environment (governance model, tools, and processes) and gathering of IGA requirements. It then delivers a target state architecture and a phased plan to get you on your journey towards it.

Glasses and screen illustration


Honesty and transparency are essential

Nixu’s over 80-person Identity and Access Management unit has the needed expertise, including several certifications, in many IGA technologies. As an independent 360° cybersecurity partner, Nixu is a “trusted advisor” for customers and committed to being brutally honest and transparent with analysis, conclusions, and recommendations.

You know your business. Nixu knows cybersecurity and IGA. Nixu is proudly forthright and will show you your IGA strengths and weaknesses with three key principles in mind:

  1. IGA must bring the business benefits that justify the investment
  2. IGA must be easy for users to adopt and perform
  3. IGA must be quick to deploy, scalable and easy to maintain

Future-proofing your organization’s IGA may not be the coolest and most celebrated project of your lifetime, but it might very well be among the most meaningful and significant ones.

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