Identity & Access Management

How to make the most out of your 2023 IAM budget

The possibility of a recession is causing the C-suite to re-evaluate spending priorities. Like many IT leaders, you may fear that your Identity and Access Management (IAM) budget is in jeopardy.

However, as identity-based threats increase, so do your team’s demands.

Securing your organization is of the utmost importance, and identity is the most critical piece of your security posture. You need to keep your IAM budget from getting axed, but how do you do that under the shadow of economic uncertainty?

The key to protecting your budget is to be clear about each line item’s value to the organization. According to Gartner, business executives are still willing to provide funding if they see how digital solutions can reduce costs and help spur growth — even during a recession.

Decision-makers must understand that now isn’t the time to cut the budget but rather to invest in IAM. Or risk lagging and scrambling when the economy rebounds. Here’s how to do that.

Understanding your CIO’s challenges & priorities

“Know thy enemy and know yourself; in a hundred battles, you will never be defeated.” – General Sun Tzu.

It may be a stretch to call your CIO or CISO your enemy (and please never do it to their face), but the advice is still relevant. By understanding how your boss is thinking and what matters to them, you’ll be better equipped to position your IAM budget priorities to be in alignment with theirs.

Start with the overarching objectives that your IT leaders want to achieve for your organization. A 2022 Forrester study shows the top IT investment priorities for IT decision-makers are:

  • Deploy customer identity and access management (CIAM)
  • Implement a zero trust architecture
  • Deploy multiple cloud environments
  • Deploy workforce identity (e.g., Okta, AzureAD, etc.)
  • Migrate apps and modernize identities to the cloud

According to Flexera research, the top three spending challenges include: too many manual processes, increased vendor prices, and ensuring spending efficiency (avoiding waste or overlap).

In 2023, it will be essential to find ways to reduce unnecessary spending to maximize your IAM budget — especially if your company finds itself amidst a recession.

How to make the most out of your IAM budget

While most organizations expect to increase their IT budgets for 2023, they’re also struggling to gain control of their spending. As companies double down on projects related to CIAM and modernization, they come up against manual processes that hamper those efforts.

The name of the game is strategic cost optimization, says Gartner, and executives say “to prepare to live in an environment of trade-offs.” Your priorities need to be to:

  • Find cost-efficiencies
  • Increase productivity
  • Optimize current resources

When the purse strings are getting tighter, it’s time to get savvy with your priorities. Here are some ways to save money and make the most out of your IAM budget across your software spending to get the most out of your investments.

Look for technology with consumption-based pricing

The traditional model of charging for IT services and software products is based on the number of site licenses you purchase. In this subscription pricing model, you pay a recurring monthly fee determined when you purchased the software.

Subscription pricing is convenient because it’s predictable from month to month. Unfortunately, you often end up spending more than you need to.

Consumption or usage-based pricing only charges you for what you use. According to an IDC survey, 61% of enterprises actively pursue consumption pricing for the technology services they purchase.

Benefits of usage-based pricing include:

  • Only pay for what you use and only use the features and options you need
  • Upgrade or downgrade based on your needs and budget
  • Easily equate value to price
  • Maintain greater control over your budget

Cloud providers seem to be adopting consumption pricing, and it shouldn’t be difficult to find vendors willing to offer a usage-based rate.

Migrate off legacy identity systems for good

Legacy systems are aging quickly, especially as modernization to the cloud gains more ground. Your legacy systems are approaching their end of life, and you could get stuck with lock-in fees if you don’t get out in time.

These legacy systems will continue to release new service packs. Still, the new updates will eventually have a financial burden that locks you into a system that has outlived its value. Avoid wasted costs by planning your migration to the cloud before the financial impact hinders your budget.

Invest in the systems you already have

If you have multiple clouds, you’ve probably noticed the inefficiencies that have cropped up — notably identity silos. Multi-cloud brings advantages, but identity silos can introduce inefficiencies and complexities that affect your IT spending.

It may be tempting to try to fix this problem with centralizing your IDPs, but centralization doesn’t work anymore because the identities are already all over the place, and trying to back in time won’t fix that. Alternatively, a solution could be to replace your system with another one, but that is a huge cost and time suck and would set you back big time.

Instead, maximize your investment in the systems you already have. Our customers have solved the issue by using orchestration to integrate all of their identity providers. The abstraction layer integrates your IDPs and clouds so that you can use all the systems you already have and get more value out of each.

There’s no costly manual refactoring, and changes can be made virtually on the fly. The result is an optimized multi-cloud identity system that eliminates expensive investments from your budget and helps you leverage your existing technology as much as possible.

Maximize your identity dollars

There’s still uncertainty about whether we’ll see a recession in the coming months, but smart IT leaders aren’t waiting to find out. Plan now for budget challenges and adopt innovative ways to get the most out of your IAM budget. Learn more about maximizing your identity management dollars — download Strata’s guide, The Return on Investment of Identity Modernization & Legacy IDP Migration. 

Eric Olden

Strata Co-Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer