Here’s How You Solve the Lifecycle Management Problem

Every time you hire a new employee, a number of things must happen across HR and IT teams to get them access to the systems and tools they need to do their job. At the core of these onboarding processes is your company’s identity management (IDM) system, which monitors your employees’ lifecycles from beginning to end—every hire, role change, department transfer, leave of absence, and termination is meticulously recorded.

Even today, many of these lifecycle changes—including HR’s requests to IT each time they have to create, update, or terminate user accounts—are all done manually. However, as companies seek to automate more of their operations and migrate to cloud-based solutions, the traditional way of conducting lifecycle management isn’t enough.

Why lifecycle management is hard to solve

Beyond the fact that most lifecycle management is carried out using outdated systems like Active Directory, which are typically not built to interface with multiple cloud applications, there are a number of business-related and technical reasons for why lifecycle management is such a tough nut to crack.

  • Different users require different lifecycle management processes: employees, contractors, and contingent workers all have different onboarding needs.
  • Too many parties are involved with giving users the right access: HR, IT, app owners, and managers have to work together to give users the right type of access to the right apps.
  • There is no cookie-cutter lifecycle management solution: all organizations follow different processes for onboarding and offboarding their users.
  • Reliable connectivity isn’t always available: automated solutions need a connector to the app that is deep enough.
  • Lifecycle management solutions need to work around existing processes: workflows are needed to automate the creation of accounts, for instance.
  • Hybrid environments require the right support: most often, organizations moving to the cloud must integrate their lifecycle management solutions into a pre-existing, on-premises infrastructure.

Companies have one of two choices: spend an exorbitant amount of money implementing complex workflows built on a legacy IDM platform, or invest in intelligent solutions developed specifically with cloud-based lifecycle management in mind.

Enter the new era of lifecycle management

Okta is the intelligent solution to help face this problem. Supporting automated onboarding and offboarding by connecting HR and IT, Okta empowers teams to streamline the user lifecycle across a number of applications, eliminating the need for duplicate, manual entry, and automatically provisioning (and deprovisioning) users in real time.

When user changes are made within the company’s HR tool of choice, they’re instantly imported into Okta, and subsequently updated in any downstream apps. The result is a seamless and secure user experience—something that has benefitted many large enterprises, such as Adobe, 20th Century Fox, and Experian.

One tool to rule them all

Another example is Hendrick Automotive Group, the US’s largest privately-held auto retailer. They made the ambitious decision to consolidate over 100 independent HR systems into one single source of truth. To help them with this, Hendrick brought in Workday to showcase their solution. During the demo, Workday mentioned Okta, and peaked the auto retailer’s interest. The Workday rep took the opportunity to share how Workday and Okta work together to automate onboarding and offboarding processes.

Since that demo, Hendrick has worked with Okta to automate 99% of its lifecycle management. With the exception of some manual QA (prompted by an automatic Zendesk ticket created through its user lifecycle workflow), everything from onboarding to offboarding flows through Okta.

Okta is now Hendrick’s sole provisioning tool, and senior execs insist that any new solution or application integrates with Okta. And, thanks to Okta’s robust catalogue of out-of-the-box integrations, they probably do.

To learn more about lifecycle management using Okta, check out our Okta Lifecycle Management datasheet.

Read the whitepaper: Checklist: Considerations for an HR-Driven IT Provisioning Solution