The Evolution of HR + IT Teams in the Extended Enterprise

The TL;DR:

  • As HR has morphed into a more technology-based function, it’s quickly becoming reliant on a strong IT foundation.
  • Simultaneously, IT needs the support of HR to sharpen its operations and security processes.
  • Forward thinking organizations need both teams working together to implement technologies that keep them safe and productive.

The rise of cloud and mobile in the enterprise has truly shaken up the way we work. On the one hand, we’re able to be more productive, connecting on the go from any device and location; modern technology being the great enabler for organizations with their sights set on moving upwards. On the other hand, large organizations, and those looking to scale up, will face challenges. If HR and IT teams are unprepared to meet the technological demands of a sizable workforce, securing access, onboarding / offboarding employees, and provisioning / deprovisioning users will be the main pain points. To meet these challenges, stay safe and productive, both HR and IT must work together to streamline their operations and security processes.

Can automation solve our identity problems?

As employees join and leave an organization or change roles, their access privileges must adapt accordingly. Expecting IT to manually administer these changes is time consuming, and opens up the organization to risk through human error. A pivotal key to solving this dilemma is automated lifecycle management. A solution that automatically adds or removes users from apps and services as they enter, exit, and move through the enterprise will streamline a company’s IT process. It makes it less vulnerable to attacks and gives employees the levels of access they need from their first day on the job to their last.

Enterprise security is a tale of two teams

To implement a successful identity and access management (IAM) solution, HR and IT teams must work together. As organizations have transformed and adapted to meet the demands of the digital economy, the scope of modern HR teams has grown. Modern HR is responsible for much more than processing payroll. As as a strategic division of the company, they’re often responsible for recruitment, selection, performance, training, and workplace safety. As such, their role in managing the movement of employees puts them in a pivotal position to assist IT with their identity management challenges.

So, now more than ever, HR is a technology profession. As the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) observes, the face of HR is no longer a person—it’s a portal, showcasing HR as an increasingly IT-backed discipline. Whether it’s because companies need to streamline admin processes and costs, improve services and access to data for employees, or compete more effectively for global talent, HR services often live through technology and web-based applications. As much as IT needs HR to resonate with people, HR needs strong IT to operate. It makes sense, then, that these 2 teams collaborate to implement modern IAM solutions.

Working closely with HR, IT can deploy solutions that centralize identity and automate administrative processes. IT systems must align with the organization’s business requirements while remaining flexible enough to adapt to the dynamic nature of modern commerce. This flexibility requires a strategic approach to human resource management and technological initiatives. A vendor-neutral, cloud-based approach is the optimal way of achieving these goals.

Okta: a complement to HR and IT

The Okta Identity Cloud has several solutions and features that can help HR and IT teams create secure connections between people and technology. Its vendor-neutral approach to identity allows organizations to implement the technology they need to remain relevant and competitive in today’s digital economy.

Okta’s Universal Directory provides a single place for organizations to manage all their users, groups, and devices. Both HR and IT teams have the ability to integrate HR systems and a wide range of IT directory services into a single platform. Thanks to this, HR remains in charge of all HR-related information, while enabling IT with a centralized master directory for authentication and access management. Universal Directory also gives IT the ability to securely store users and passwords in a central location, while providing IT with the option to enforce thorough authentication policies.

Once all identities have been centralized, Okta Lifecycle Management can automate user lifecycles across any application, reducing an organization's potential attack surface. With pre-integrated provisioning, Lifecycle Management provides hands-off user management triggered by your preferred HR system or application, including Workday, UltiPro, BambooHR, SuccessFactors, and Namely.

For any organization to achieve their business goals, they need strong people management and security procedures. Now that HR and IT are increasingly connected, high-performance technology can address both concerns—and Okta’s solutions are the perfect enabler of a safe, productive workplace.

Want to learn more about HR-driven lT? Read our HR-Driven IT Provisioning whitepaper!