There’s more than one side to a Rubik’s cube
Pressures on Higher Education (HE) institutions to implement Identity Access Management (IAM) solutions continue to grow. Personal data protection and security, audit compliance, user authorization requirements, password management, process automation, single sign-on and the overall user experience all drive this need.
As a thought leader in the educational IAM market-space, Aegis Identity Software, Inc. recently commissioned an independent survey to identify key identity management issues at HE institutions. Of the 100 HE institutions surveyed, 10% were replacing antiquated IAM systems and approximately 25% of the schools planned on implementing an IAM solution during the FY2015-2016 school year.
IAM Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) is a key decision making driver. For educational institutions, TCO is important as budgets can be very tight and limited. HE Information Technology teams often seek the TCO answer for IAM by comparing building their own Identity Management solution using Open Source Software (OSS) vs. purchasing off the shelf software.
Using OSS to build an IAM solution is often attractive to HE Information Technology (IT) because licenses are free. For educational institutions, however, TCO considerations must go beyond selecting a course of action solely on the basis of reacting to today’s identified requirement pressures. In addition to determining the form of the initial system, longer term practical operating and support considerations as well as future technology directions, should also be considered.
In our discussions with HE customers considering IAM, we raise the concept that selecting an IAM solution is much like solving a Rubik’s cube. There are multiple sides for consideration and we often make the analogy that using free OSS software to build an IdM solution is “free like a puppy.” While there are philosophical reasons to build an IAM solution using OSS, Aegis Identity contends our off the shelf solution, TridentHE provides a more compelling case to address all the issues impacting TCO. Because we focus exclusively on the education market, we understand not only current HE IAM issues but are in a position to anticipate and deliver on future needs. The design and architecture of our solution also addresses the often difficult practical issues of system management and support. Having sold and delivered multiple IAM solutions for HE, we believe that our TridentHE offering delivers an off-the shelf-solution which optimizes TCO for HE environments.
Let’s consider the following about Aegis Identity and TridentHE:
- Future requirements – Unlike a single HE institution who often is focused on immediate needs, Aegis Identity Software is 100% market driven and focused totally on HE – our product architecture, features and enhancements evolve from market and customer demands
- New Product Upgrades, Features – Unlike OSS software, Aegis Identity provides scheduled product upgrade and enhancement releases for TridentHE
- Focused, Accountable Software Development Processes – Unlike HE IT teams, we aren’t managing a portfolio of projects and activities – we are 100% driven to provide an HE IAM solution that is customer driven and responsive to HE needs
- Code base Security – Unlike OSS software which is completely open to everyone, TridentHE’s development code base is not open & susceptible to access by potential malicious parties
- Designed specifically for HE – Aegis Identity recognizes the value of “Open” technologies vs. proprietary software languages – we use open source and open standards in our code. Combined with our collaborative implementation methodology we give you effective long-term control of solution management
The pressures to resolve today’s Identity Management problems with tight budgets are very real. Today’s pressures however, may not necessarily be tomorrows. New technology and business requirements mean that today’s solution will need to be able to evolve and keep up. Finally IT faces practical challenges of managing the system over time. While the choice to build an IAM solution using “free” OSS is viable, free may be a misnomer. Addressing TCO issues when selecting an IAM solution requires one to thoughtfully view all sides of the Rubik’s cube. Once you take into consideration all of the issues that impact TCO, selecting an IAM solution for HE institutions goes beyond the cost of software.
For more information, register to attend Aegis Identity Software’s next TridentHE webinar to get a true understanding of our Higher Education solution and how Aegis Identity can address your IAM challenges.