Local Governments Adopting Smarter Identity Management

With movement between capital cities and regional areas more than double the pre-pandemic levels, IT departments at local councils are stretched and are considering identity management solutions to better service staff and residents.

Local Governments Adopting Smarter Identity Management

In Australia, regional and rural councils are currently grappling with onboarding an increasing number of residents who, due to the pandemic, are moving from cities, to take advantage of more expansive and less expensive locations. Citizen expectations have also shifted towards a more seamless and secure digital experience, stemming from physical restrictions or closures of physical locations along with the influence from the private sector on consumer behaviour.

Remote working sparked wide-scale digital identity transformation

Council staff working remotely during the pandemic has been the catalyst for business transformation for many local governments. With the shift to cloud services that enable home working, legacy digital identity management based on active directory authentication are no longer fit for purpose.

Single source of truth

Having a single source of truth for identity management allows councils to leverage and link cloud platform services together, meaning better management of user profiles, increased security and compliance.

Frictionless and secure experiences

Local councils are looking to replicate this frictionless and secure experience in the access to citizen services. 

Digital transformation to enable remote working

What started as digital transformation to enable remote working, needs to move to service council residents. A streamlined identity profile across services, such as roads, rates and rubbish collection, means a more user friendly and secure experience.

Security plus a frictionless customer journey

Security plus a frictionless customer journey

A consistent citizen identity is the foundation of a seamless customer journey, security is a non-negotiable that goes alongside such an identity. 

Resource constrained councils can find it hard to build authentication across the growing number of different applications. This poses potential security risks within app vulnerabilities and custom code. 

Digital identity management tools can reduce security issues and link together these applications. Identity-as-a-Service (IDaaS) means one login can provide access to multiple applications securely, while leveraging a platform that has high resilience and availability.

IDaaS means councils doesn’t need to hold authentication data of citizens, the burden can be managed by providers. 

Local councils can’t provide the kind of IT salaries that industry or banks can pay. Meaning IT teams are constrained in terms of resources and time, making it preferential to avoid high complexity processes and automate repeatable, time consuming tasks.

Les Pall

Technical Platforms Manager, City of Parramatta

As public entities we hold important data, such as property deed information. Therefore security is of utmost importance, if our systems are compromised we are compromised.

Lalitha Koya

Head of IT, Moorabool Shire Council

Working smarter with identity management

Rural local councils with increasing workloads and time constrained IT teams are looking to simplify work.

Current identity management practices can mean staff are performing repetitive, repeatable tasks which can mean there is a risk of error and also creates a capacity issue. Standardised identity management allows IT teams to refocus on high value work and let machinery run the standardised processes.

It also means a shift in skill sets. With the burden of security and availability outsourced, focusing on the user profile rules and providing appropriate governance around them makes work easier. For example a business analyst can define the governance structure and a security audit can be done afterwards to ensure compliance.

Working smarter with identity management

Okta's solution for Local Governments

Okta can help councils are integrating digital identity management into their strategic roadmaps. It is likely there will be an increase in identity management services across government, potentially with even some integration at local, state and national levels in the longer term. Having a trusted, external identity provider is allowing rural and regional local councils to alleviate the burden on constrained IT departments, while providing secure services for citizens.

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Reducing the burden for IT

IDaaS can be easier to use, reducing the burden on highly skilled IT workers and managers as work can be distributed more widely across the team. 

Identity 101
Avoidance of security issues

While it can be hard to quantify the cost savings up front of switching to an external identity provider, the avoidance of even one security issue can make the investment worth it. 

Training
Reduced lag time

Reduced lag time for introducing new services, potentially reducing implementation timeframes from 6 months to a few days. Getting the job done quickly with the resources available is important.  

Onboarding and offboarding
Automate Onboarding & Offboarding

Organisations spend an inordinate amount of time onboarding and offboarding employees, contractors and partners. Teams struggle with manual provisioning and a lack of clearly defined business processes which can lead to incorrect access for users and a decline in productivity for IT teams. Triggering changes from HR or IT systems, better yet, connecting the two to synchronise data between HR and IT, can significantly ease the burden on both teams.

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