Identity and Access Management – Insights and considerations

COVID-19 and IAM – Changes and challenges ahead

While the world’s response to COVID-19 has typically been considered to be one of temporary measures to cope with pressing circumstances, deeper analysis suggests that it will have long‑standing structural implications on many aspects of our lives. 

Many of those implications are hard to predict, and any attempt to compile a comprehensive list would likely prove ineffective. However, we foresee four major shifts that will have a significant impact on the positioning of IAM within organizations. Although some of the consequences originating from these trends are already becoming apparent, we believe that this is only the tip of the iceberg, and that Identity and Access Management (IAM) leaders should consider how these trends will impact their direct responsibilities in the mid to long term.

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COVID-19 and Identity and Access Management (IAM) - Changes and challenges ahead

Four major shifts that will have a significant impact on the positioning of IAM within organisations

A different way of working

Due to increased remote working, the partial loss of control and oversight over the day-to-day activities of employees may open the door for an increased demand for freelancing and contract workers instead of full-time employees. This increased shift towards the so-called gig economy requires IAM operations to be prepared for the short term, a more dynamic nature of the responsibilities and policies, resulting in processes that should be well-defined to ensure efficient yet secure provisioning and deprovisioning of access.

Increased global cooperation, and geopolitical shifts

The failure to contain the virus has had the effect of propounding the idea that a closer and more integrated cooperation between governmental entities in the field of several public goods such as public health is bound to benefit everyone. A need for cross-border coordination and collaboration on several fronts is likely to be considered by governmental bodies worldwide in an attempt to prevent risks that cross political borders. Such needs translate to concrete requirements for IT systems, be it for systems that are actively involved in the transfer of data that requires coordination, or through legal obligations and restrictions that organizations may have.

Unstable economic waters ahead

The response to contain further COVID-19 outbreaks has resulted in measures that have had and continue to have a deep economic impact. Both business initiatives and governmental measures have contributed to a situation that will have significant economic effects for years to come. Analysis as to the precise effects are beyond the scope of this document, but it suffices to say that fluctuations in economic activity are to be expected in the coming years.

Evolving markets and business models

Although the long-term impact on business models and markets is non-trivial to predict, pressure on production, value chains and processes in the short term seems likely. As circumstances evolve, organizations are or will increasingly be considering a digital transformation. This also has a likely impact on the IAM strategy.

Never let a crisis go to waste

As an IAM leader, it is paramount that you do not only focus on the challenges that your organization is facing today but also on the upcoming challenges and opportunities. In order to be prepared for the challenges ahead, we advise you to take into account the following considerations.

Realign your vision
Re-evaluate all IAM processes and policies
Re-evaluate all IAM processes and policies
Validate that IAM technologies and tools address established and emerging requirements
Validate that IAM technologies and tools address established and emerging requirements
Implement a zero-trust architecture
Implement a zero-trust architecture
Set up an IAM roadmap
Set up an IAM roadmap
Leverage digital transformations, changing strategies and upcoming trends
Leverage digital transformations, changing strategies and upcoming trends
Plan for the worst
Plan for the worst

Contact us

Ingvar Van Droogenbroeck

Ingvar Van Droogenbroeck

Partner, PwC Belgium

Tel: +32 477 38 14 45

Sven Pauwels

Director, PwC Belgium

Tel: +32 475 70 63 86

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