Okta

How to Communicate the Value of Identity Management Solutions to Key Stakeholders

Ed Sawma
Director, Product Marketing

Today, companies face a challenging world. Big breaches are constantly in the news, but many executives are underinformed about the realities of cybersecurity. Meanwhile, IT admins are overwhelmed with tasks such as conducting password resets. There are solutions for this situation—identity software among them—but effectively explaining their value during the hectic business day can be easier said than done.

The opportunity, then, may not be so much a tech issue but rather a human-oriented solution, one of communication. How can you best persuade your team that identity solution is worth the investment? Consider three specific techniques: addressing the listener's needs, telling success stories, and emphasizing the positive.

Address the listener's needs

All too often, individuals with a tech background can over-emphasize the technical details of the solution they're trying to promote. But executives are likely more concerned about the budget than with the generation of organization-specific X.509 certificates and the like.

Ask or listen to them to find out what they need, and think about the obvious demands on their roles. CFOs want to save money, for instance. That might mean you need to study up on budget material they might not ordinarily spend time on. Be sure to understand how identity solutions save money:

  • No forklift upgrades if a cloud-based identity service is used that is kept up to date automatically for all customers (no more outdated software!)
  • It can increase the efficiency of the IT workforce
  • Since it's cloud-based, hardware and other physical costs will decrease (check out how well that's working in the public sector.)

As for the IT team, it’s easy to understand that they would rather be spending time solving interesting problems rather than managing password resets all day. Point out that identity solutions can reduce end-user password reset phone calls, speed up the adoption of new applications (since users have a consistent identity), and simplify permissions with access management and you can get both your IT team and C-Suite executives onboard.

Tell success stories

Raw data might be impressive for listeners who already understand its significance, but people engage more deeply with narrative. If you really want to convince your co-workers to move to identity software, success stories can help. After all, the ways identity software will change a company going forward is a lot more exciting than yet another statistic.

Okta's library of customer success stories is a great resource to draw on to build your own stories for how identity solutions can help your company.Focus on specific details that highlight how the change would benefit employees.

For example, consider signing in. Remind executives how, without identity solutions, log-in procedures on the business network are inconsistent and risky. Perhaps one app they use has 2FA, and another just relies on a single long password an executive has memorized—but recently forgot. Demonstrate how this would be very different in an identity solutions world, where identity and adaptive access would be managed securely by the cloud-based program.

Emphasize the positive

Focusing on gains engages audiences more than losses. Of course, it is also important to point out problems and downsides when they truly matter. Just remember to emphasize the bottom line: identity solutions helps the company succeed.

Sometimes changing language can help emphasize the positive. Is the company afraid of hackers, or are they looking forward to improving security? Is provisioning identity from the cloud a hurdle that must be overcome to keep up with competitors, or is it a way to make the daily lives employees easier while saving on costs?

The value of identity solutions

Good communicators arm themselves with knowledge to share with their audiences. If you’re looking for information about identity solutions, you can find plenty in Okta's resources section. Once you’re equipped with knowledge, you can employ these techniques more persuasively communicate the value of identity solutions to your teams.

Ed Sawma
Director, Product Marketing

Ed Sawma is a Director of Product Marketing at Okta where he manages Okta Single Sign-on, Universal Directory and Provisioning. After starting his career in IT consulting, with a focus on system integration and security, Ed led product marketing globally for mobile applications at Motorola.

Prior to Okta, he worked on Microsoft’s IPTV platform. Ed has a BS in Electrical Engineering and an MBA, both from Northwestern University. In his spare time, Ed enjoys cooking and studying the history of food.

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