Importance Of IAM At Higher Education

Identity and access management (IAM) is crucial to providing accurate, appropriate and secured access to services, data and systems. IAM can also influence how seamless and fluid the experiences of users and employees will be, which can contribute to the reputation of the company. With the advent of the Internet and modern technology in our twenty first century, more and more users are becoming increasingly tech savvy and they will therefore have higher expectations towards digitalised and personalised interactions.

While all IT organisations face the challenge of having to balance the need for business agility and cost effectiveness, educational institutions are met with a unique set of obstacles and hurdles to overcome. This includes the requirements of students, faculty members, researchers, administrators, as well as, external parties who might be collaborating with and utilising the school’s resources. All of these groups of users have very divergent demands and needs to be catered to, and thus the management of identities is absolutely imperative. IAM grants educational institutions the capabilities to navigate the complex and heterogenous technical environment of these identities and the IT security issues that are likely to be encountered along the way.

With a modern IAM solution, educational institutions no longer have to worry about regulatory compliance. Highly personal and sensitive information such as contact information, medical history and financial data are thrusted into the hands of higher education institutes who have to manage and process copious amounts of data that come from their students and other members in the campus. The challenge comes way after registration day, when IT teams have to handle the workload of administrative processes ranging from resetting forgotten passwords to troubleshooting technology involved in classroom teaching.

With IAM, these issues can be mitigated with ease. Multiple user credentials for educational and work activities can be managed. Users with more than one role can be detected by an IAM solution that has been intelligently designed for higher education needs, such that multiple access and role privileges can be merged into a single account, thus requiring only one set of login credentials. This reduces the risk of having accounts being compromised and people gaining unauthorised access to confidential data. In addition, the automated provisioning and deprovisioning of accounts enable third party applications and services to be roped into classroom teaching, enhancing the productivity of learning environments without opening the institution to data and security vulnerabilities.

As budget and manpower issues are some of the major concerns that organisations in the higher education sector face a lot, adopting a robust IAM solution will be sure to help in making sure that cost effectiveness is met. By streamlining every process and workflow that is required by the IT team to be done, IAM help to drastically cut down on costs that may be incurred in up-keeping legacy and traditional security systems that simply are not up to date with current measures and standards. This further ensures that IT teams of educational institutions can focus on more important initiatives.