The survey questioned 500+ respondents from a variety of industries, 62% of which hold job functions in information technology (IT). The findings shed light on the tools, technologies, and practices defining identity at work.
The $13 billion identity management market is prime for growth, as cloud adoption, artificially intelligent software, and entry points for cyberattacks expand. But despite major strides in recent years, there are some identity practices that have failed to evolve. For example, email (50%) was cited as the most popular option for controlling permissions and entitlements among all respondents. Comparatively, respondents from large companies (55%) and those who held IT roles (54%) favored more sophisticated methods, such as IT service management (ITSM) or workforce management platforms.
“It’s encouraging that business leaders understand the value of connecting, automating, and streamlining identity throughout their organization, reflected by the popularity of ITSM and business platforms,” said John Milburn, CEO, Clear Skye. “But, manual, error-prone processes, like managing identities through email and spreadsheets, are at best ineffective and at worst harmful. This should be a wakeup call for modern businesses relying on archaic, insecure identity management processes.”
Other key findings
- User experience (UX) topped the list of challenges across most segments (49%). IT respondents cited UX (52%), cost (48%), and time to access or fulfillment (39%) as the top three challenges.
- Over half of technical respondents indicated that they work with several vendors for identity governance, risk, compliance (GRC), single sign-on (SSO), privileged access management (PAM), and/or security operations (SecOps).
- Despite this, 60% of technical respondents also indicated that they have integrated SecOps with their business processes, while 41% confirmed they have integrated GRC with their business processes.
- 28% of IT respondents and 26% of respondents from large organizations reported using more than 10 SaaS or on-premises applications each week. As such, 45% of IT respondents and 41% of non-IT respondents expected a high productivity boost by using fewer applications or systems.
- Respondents who work at small companies cited using Google’s platform and tools at a higher rate, compared to those at large companies using Microsoft 365. 35% of respondents from large companies reported using ServiceNow.
- Two-thirds of survey respondents indicated that their company uses AI/ML to improve identity management, but less than a third of respondents indicated that AI/ML yield moderate to high benefits for identity management.
The research is clear: challenges with UX, outsourcing to multiple vendors for identity-related functions, and the use of too many business applications and systems are pain points for identity programs. However, many of these issues can be addressed through capabilities available through an organization’s existing ITSM/workforce management platform.