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An Out-of-the-Box Business Case

Novell Identity Manager 4 Advanced Edition Ships with an Airtight Built-In Business Case

Written by Bill Tobey

As a regular Connection reader you’re probably well aware that Novell Identity Manager 4 begins shipping this month. You may have seen a demo at BrainShare, or read some of the press coverage. Hopefully you’re already thinking about a business case to justify the upgrade to your management.

The good news is the Identity Manager product team has done most of that work for you. The development of Identity Manager 4 was fundamentally driven and directed by the concerns and priorities of business and executive management. This release is a software love letter to C-level management, with an airtight business case baked into the initial requirements.

Why should identity management and user provisioning matter to management? Because they directly affect the organization's operational efficiency, compliance and security. Consider just a few statistics:

  • New users often wait up to three weeks for full access to the systems and services they need to fulfill their work roles. That’s a serious productivity hit.
  • Password resets account for up to 35 percent of help desk calls, and cost up to $40 per call. It adds up quickly.
  • Up to 60 percent of all user accounts are invalid, because users aren’t de-provisioned promptly. Or ever.
  • Access control accounts for 30 percent of enterprise development costs.
  • Compliance consumes up to 25 percent of the typical IT budget.

Let’s take a look at some of the new technical features that directly address these important business issues. To be clear, we’re talking primarily about Identity Manager 4 Advanced Edition, the enterprise-class member of the Identity Manager 4 product family.

Advanced Reporting and Metrics

If there’s anything that warms the managerial heart it’s quantifiable evidence of improved performance, especially when that improvement is documented in auditable, black and white, bound and collated detail. Business-side stakeholders will swoon when they see the comprehensive suite of reporting capabilities that have been tightly integrated into the Identity Manager 4 product core.

What it is – To prime the analytical pumps, Novell is providing a variety of widely informative reports, with out-of-the-box templates that are easily customized with the included packaging tool. The new Identity Reporting Tool leverages event-driven data collection and a dedicated reporting warehouse to provide consolidated visibility into users' provisioning status changes and compliance events across physical, virtual and cloud-based resources. It effectively breaks down the walls of security silos across the enterprise. It’s also easy to import third-party reports from sources like iReport. You’ll see not only current status, but also the historical trending and forensic views—who has access to what and who authorized it—that auditors are increasingly demanding. Robust automation minimizes IT support requirements and costs with features that include graphical run scheduling, policy-based data collection, completed report distribution and storage.

The user interface provides simple, intuitive access to an overview of existing reports, their current status, and the systems under management. (See Figure 1.) A scheduling interface provides a configuration menu for defining run time, frequency and other settings. (See Figure 2.) A repository displays definitions and schedules for all existing reports. (See Figure 3.) And a calendar display shows all scheduled report runs. (See Figure 4.) Completed reports document many views of user activity, resource provisioning, access and policy events, such as a per-user record of separation of duties policy violations. (See Figure 5.)

Why it’s important to management – The new reporting functionality in Novell Identity Manager 4 Advanced Edition provides meaningful insight into your organization’s user provisioning operations. It lets you compare actual and desired access states for individuals, groups, roles or resources. It gives you the insight to increase productivity, tighten security, measure performance and reliably document provisioning events for compliance.

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