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The Value of Automated Provisioning

Recently I was reviewing some provisioning statistics for one of our customers using our ARMS and DSS products. I see these statistics on a daily basis because we build that into all of our IDM solutions. This week I took a minute more to really look at the numbers and put them in perspective. Here are the statistics for student provisioning at this customer site for a 24-hour period:

Accounts Created: 532
Accounts Updated: 1,104
Accounts Moved (campus change): 227
Group Membership Changes: 56

Now these numbers are only a subset of the total transactions that are automated or delegated outside of the IT department using our products. For example, these numbers don’t include staff provisioning transactions or password resets.

With that in mind, how many staff would be required to deal with this many transactions on a DAILY basis? The reality is that each transaction, when done manually, takes quite a bit of time. It requires time to request the change, review the change, implement the change, validate the change and communicate the change. To put a number to that, let’s say each transaction requires a total person effort of 10 minutes. Using the numbers above, that totals 19,190 minutes (or 319 hours or 40 days)!!

The reality is no organization can handle that load from a resource perspective. The obvious deduction then is that these transactions just aren’t occurring without “full” automation. By that I mean an automated solution that deals with all of these transactions, not just one or two transactions. That means many accounts are not getting created, updated, moved, disabled, etc. either in a timely manner or at all.

Another way to look at the value is to put a cost to each transaction. How much does is cost an organization to deal with these transactions manually? Research firms often use $25 as a per transaction cost. This includes factors such as the salaries, benefits, lost work, etc. Using our transaction numbers above, the daily cost for handling every transaction would be $47,975/day or a whopping $12,473,500/year!!

Now, I’m not saying you’ll save $12 million a year by automating your account management. The point is that automation is absolutely a great value for any organization. Again, this is only one piece of the IDM puzzle. This doesn’t cover other features offered by our ARMS and DSS products to provide delegated administration, group membership automation, contingent worker management and workflow. It also doesn’t cover the audit and compliance benefits that are gained by keeping track of all events related to identity.

I sent an email to the customer who’s numbers are reflected above. Here’s the response:

“Incredible. I did not think we had that much volume. A very effective investment!”

The reality is that most organizations don’t have a baseline for how many identity-type transactions they manage on a daily basis. That is usually not realized until after the automated solution is put into place (assuming the solution tracks those statistics). Every organization is different. The volume of transactions is also going to be different. Regardless, identity management is important to all organizations. The primary benefit for each organization could be costs savings, reducing errors, compliance, improved customer satisfaction or some other factor. All of these are valid and the reality is that all of them are achieved every time we implement our products.

For more information about our solutions, contact our Sales Team today!