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Identity and Access Management Solutions: Should You Build or Buy them?

Posted on November 10, 2021 by IDMEdge

Identity and Access Management (IAM) is a modern concept that ensures the right people access the right resources in an organization.

IAM solutions provide the tools to control and manage data access and define privileges based on users. It secures the organizations not only from outside threats but also from the inside, as you can’t trust anyone blindly.

Therefore, a strong IAM solution is needed for your organizational security. And if you want to use it, you have two options to choose from – build or buy an IAM solution.

This article will help you decide the same.

So, here are the crucial factors to consider when deciding whether you should build or buy an IAM solution.

  • Expertise

Building an identity and access management solution needs expertise and specific skill sets. The chances are it could go wrong in one or many ways if your team doesn’t have those skills and you still start building the solution. It can also raise issues concerning local regulations, scalability with the growth of your business, or security risks.

This is why you need to consider your team’s expertise level, skills, and knowledge in developing IAM solutions. It will help you decide whether your current team members are enough to kick start the work or you would require new hiring for it.

If your team has those skills, you can start the work, and if you have the budget, you can hire new staff. But if you don’t have either of these, it’s better to buy an IAM solution based on your needs.

  • Resource Availability

Suppose you have expert developers and supporting staff in your team to develop an efficient IAM solution, but do you have enough resources to take the project to success?

You must take into account development resources such as time to complete the project, required staff members, budget, tools, technologies, etc. If you have all these, you are good to start building your IAM solution.

But here’s the thing, even with all the resources in your hand, it’s not always smart to build the IAM solution. You will have to think about whether this project is the highest value task your team should work on, leaving others on hold?

Are there more profitable projects in the pipeline?

If you have a positive answer to these and think you can tackle them while developing your IAM project, go ahead.

However, if you don’t have resources, the road will become tougher. So, think about what resources you have and whether that’s enough to support your project’s development and maintenance. And if you can’t manage it, buy an IAM solution.

  • Maintenance

Building an IAM solution or any other software is not a one-time investment. It needs to be updated with time in order to perform optimally while eliminating bugs, errors, and security loopholes. This is why maintenance is essential. And it again requires resources and ample time.

For this, you must have expertise and resources available to monitor and maintain your IAM solution. They are needed to support the setup, optimize functions, improve its interaction with different systems, remove the vulnerability, and so on.

So, think about whether or not you have the required expertise and resources to support the maintenance of your IAM solution. If yes, build an IAM solution, but if no, then buy it.

  • Cost

Developing an IAM solution in-house comes with lots of investments throughout its lifecycle, from building to maintenance. It involves expenses, including staffing, tools and technologies, data storage, load balancing, data security, managing teams, training and upskilling developers, testing, and deployment. There is significant cost involved towards developers and support team as well for 24×7 help.

Therefore, you need to consider all these costs and decide whether that’s affordable for you or not. If you are an enterprise, building your IAM solution can be affordable for you, but it can be a burden for growing businesses. So, it’s better to buy it instead.

  • Risk Prevention

Cybersecurity issues are rising and becoming a huge concern for modern businesses and users. Hence, if you are going to build an IA solution, you need to examine your company’s cybersecurity requirements and associated potential risks.

Do you have capabilities to tackle the situation when an online breach happens so you can reduce the penetration levels or stop it altogether when it’s first detected?

What level of data does your business deal with?

Is it too sensitive that breaches can lead to devastating effects?

Try answering all these questions to think whether your team has the potential to build the safety systems to manage such risks. If you have, you can start building the IAM solution. And even if you don’t, you can take the help of a third-party security service provider for audits, security testing, and other related services. And before you partner with them, assess their security aspects as well as whether you should trust them with your data or not.

And if you don’t want to get into all these troubles, you can always choose a trusted IAM solution.

  • Complexity

Consider how complex your IAM solution is because it influences the decision to buy or build based on the capabilities and resources you have in hand. If you want to create a simple application for a smaller number of users, it might be easier to build the IAM solution in-house.

However, if your requirements are huge, involving a larger number of apps and users with wide-ranging privileges, you may find it challenging to build the solution in-house. In this case, you might consider buying an IAM solution from a trusted provider.

Furthermore, if you still want to build it in-house and have the capabilities, take the future requirements into account. If you are a growing business with increasing users and application needs, make sure you build an IAM solution that can scale seamlessly based on your requirements.

This also applies to the case when you are buying an IAM solution; make sure they provide you with an IAM solution that can meet your future demands.

  • Time to Market

The next important thing to consider when deciding build vs buy for an IAM solution is to think about how quickly you need to deploy your IAM solution. If it is something that you have wanted to incorporate in your organization for quite a while and you still have time to wait for a little more, you can utilize the time and build your own.

However, if you can’t spare much time and you need it urgently due to security reasons or anything else, building an IAM solution would be challenging as it’s time-consuming.

Building an IAM solution also requires some patience and proper process and security measures to make it robust that can mitigate risks or at least reduce the attack surface. And if you try to do it quickly, you may leave some security loopholes that hackers can penetrate easily and harm your systems, applications, and data.

So, in this case, you might want to buy an IAM solution and deploy it right away to ascertain security for your organization.

  • Compliance

Last but definitely not least, compliance with industry standards and regulatory bodies is also an important consideration. Your organization must be subjected to some sort of regulations based on the sector you operate in, the data you handle, and the location you operate from. And if you don’t comply with them, you might risk your reputation, customer trust, and welcome penalties.

Hence, it’s better to be updated with relevant compliance requirements. If you build an IAM solution in-house, you need to implement the same to your app, which requires extra work and complexity to do it correctly and regularly update it.

However, if you buy the solution from a trusted third party, you don’t have to worry about these things. Your service provider will take care of all the compliance requirements so you can use the solution trouble-free.

Who Should Build It?

Building an IAM solution would suit you better if you are a large enterprise with thousands of employees along with an in-house team with IAM expertise and resources to support the development process.

In addition, you also have the capabilities to ensure tight security for your application. It’s also suitable for those with enough resources, budget, and time to market the app and not many complexities to deal with.

Who Should Buy It?

Consider buying the IAM solution from a trusted service provider if you are a startup, small, or medium-sized organization that’s growing. It’s because the IAM solution you buy can have the scalability to support your future growth and would not require much investment compared to building it in-house. You can also deploy it right away, secure your data with robust security measures, and never have to worry about compliance requirements.

Conclusion

Identity and Access Management (IAM) solution is an excellent concept to secure your systems, applications, and data while making it easier and safer for your employees and users to access them. Hence, if you want to incorporate an IAM solution in your organization, decide whether you should build or buy it based on the parameters we just discussed.