Launching new IT initiatives is always a challenge, and the roll-out and adoption of a new identity and access management (IAM) program is no exception. While you understand how your IAM solution will better secure your organization and data and make getting work done easier, your co-workers don’t always look positively on change.
We’ve all seen how negative chatter around a new project can quickly turn into a big problem when it comes to getting end users, and even management, to buy in. That is why you need to control the narrative from the beginning, and one way to do that is to create a brand around your IAM program as we discussed in a previous blog post.
By branding and promoting your larger IT initiatives, you make it easier for people to remember and understand why these initiatives are being put into place. Just like in the marketing world, a successful brand builds trust in the community of users. And getting your end users to trust that what you are doing benefits them directly will certainly help make them more comfortable about any changes and new behaviors they will be asked to make.
But how do you go about marketing something like a new IAM program? Here are seven steps for doing that:
1. Start with a name
Pick a simple project name that is both clever and memorable, so that people immediately associate that name with your initiative. Something descriptive and familiar will always be more effective than something that is too fanciful. For example, one of our Higher Educations customers, Houston Community College, wisely chose to brand their initiative as HCC Eagle ID.
Complex names that don’t describe your initiative require too much explanation, and this can cause your efforts to backfire. If you find that your name is too long, try to turn it into a catchy acronym to keep it shorter.
2. Create a logo
People are visual, so they often remember something like a graphic or a logo more easily than they will a name. Make sure that your logo stands out and represents your IAM initiative. Because your goal is recognition, make sure to use the logo on all communications and documentation associated with this project.
It may be tempting to try to design the logo yourself, but it is often best to enlist the help of a graphic designer to really make the best impact.
3. Write up a tagline
Like logos, catchy phrases are sometimes easier to remember than a name. While catchiness is important, it is more important to let your end users clearly know what’s in it for them and/or your company with your tagline.
4. Link to a corporate strategy
End users are not the only people from whom you need buy-in. For your IAM system to be successful, you are going to need executive support, so by communicating how this project fits in with your larger corporate strategy, you stand a better chance at getting senior management behind you and having them become advocates for the program.
5. Speak directly to your users
The message your brand reflects should focus on the end user. Show him or her the role that he or she plays in mitigating the risk of a data breach or how their use of self-service tools can dramatically reduce operational IT costs. Help them understand how IT is helping them to more securely innovate and collaborate. This helps the end user understand the “Why” behind your IAM system and to minimize any public resistance.
6. Give away free stuff
You have a great name, logo, and tagline; now put them on some of those stress balls, pens, mugs, t-shirts, and other things that people like to get for free. You can use these as a way to kick off your program or even as rewards for people who report the most phishing emails or evangelize your IAM system on a company social network.
7. Get the word out
Marketing folks hit the road to attend different events when they are trying to get the word out, and so should you. Make a road show, so that you can go out and evangelize your IAM program. Talk it up every chance you get. When it comes to IT projects, the rule of seven is the minimum. Finally, get as many executive supporters as possible to mention your project. When executive leadership speaks positively about an initiative, people listen more seriously.
Intent is one thing. Execution is another. The successful execution of a security program requires that everyone who touches and shares data understands his or her role in protecting it. That requires buy-in, and buy-in requires that the value your program brings to the organization, and the individual, be clear. Branding and promoting your program can help you drive the awareness and adoption you want for your IAM program.