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How Do Role Management Tools Fit In with Identity Management?

How Do Role Management Tools Fit In with Identity Management? Role management refers to developing role models and maintaining user role definitions over time to help you determine user authorization to applications and resources. With roles, you have the flexibility to change permissions or add/remove users without having to make changes throughout your entire infrastructure. Let’s look at how role management tools can help simplify the identity management process to save you time and money.

How Can Role Management Tools Save Time and Money?  

Proper role management requires multiple steps.

  1. First, roles have to be defined. Those roles should be periodically reviewed and modified as needed.
  2. Use auditing and in-depth reporting to evaluate the roles and maintain security. Data needs to be analyzed to assist in the developing and maintenance of new roles.
  3. Review the users and update the user list to reflect changes in the access lifecycle. Old or deprecating roles need to be retired.

Role management can be a tedious and time-consuming process, but it doesn’t have to be.

Time-Saving Automation Tools

Some tools will look at all the users with a given set of attributes, compare permissions across multiple applications and devices, and report when entitlements seem consistent – meaning they would be good candidates for role assignment -- sometimes referred to as role mining or entitlement analytics.

Automation enables real-time response when roles change throughout the process – such as when jobs change, or employees leave, or when there are new hires.

Once you’ve established a role model, some tools periodically compare user rights to those set up in the model, and either report inconsistencies or automatically correct them according to your established guidelines. Automation is used to keep roles relevant and to maintain compliance.

Role management tools can simplify the process in other ways.

Some tools allow you to set roles and assign them over the entire infrastructure from one pane of glass. A centralized control panel allows you to do data mining remotely to establish and maintain your policies, while providing a centralized place where you can gather reports for review and compliance – again, with tremendous savings in time and manpower.

The Bottom Line

Today’s identity management solutions are looking to encompass more than permissions and access rights.

Systems, such as SailPoint’s IdentityIQ, deal with access and account management, compliance, password management, and role management in one integrated package, automating as many of the processes as possible.

Use technology to your advantage, by employing role management tools, can simplify the process to save time and money – two critical elements for IT departments since they are often the first to feel budget cuts.


What are your thoughts about role management tools? Which tools do you find most useful? Let us know what’s on your mind in the Comments box below.


And to learn about how you, as an identity management professional, can grow your IDM/IAM client base, download your free copy of our eBook on "Identity Management Lead Generation Best Practices."

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