4 Identity & Security Lessons for the Pandemic from Origin Energy

MJ Kaufmann

MJ Kaufmann

Security Specialist

Origin Energy Shares How it Overcame the Elephant in the Room at Saviynt Roadshow

On Wednesday, the Road to CONVERGE 20 began with a virtual Roadshow in Sydney, Australia. The event focused on the evolving role of identity in 2020, the importance of partnerships, Saviynt’s latest capabilities, and how to make the perfect cup of coffee.  

If you missed the event, don’t worry, the content is available on-demand. The pinnacle of the night was a discussion between Vanessa Gale, Origin Energy’s Head of Identity, and Yash Prakash, Saviynt’s COO that centered on Origin’s digital transformation, the pandemic that blindsided everyone, and what the future holds for identity. 

The Elephant in the Room

2020 has been a year of pushing past boundaries and discovering how we rise to meet emerging challenges — both individually and organizationally. Economic shifts and a pandemic forced businesses to adapt and overcome, or fail. 

Security operations must defend against various new, user-focused threats and protect a distributed IT infrastructure — all while working remotely. New business models emerged as the expected gave way to an unexpected reality. Digital acceleration increased, remote work ramped up rapidly, and businesses faced unparalleled operational challenges — but, as Vanessa said, “You can’t eat the elephant all in one go.” However, if you take things bite-by-bite, you can overcome anything.

The Origin Energy Identity Journey

As Origin Energy embarked on a digital transformation journey at the beginning of 2020, it was blindsided by COVID-19, and all the workforce and security challenges that came with the pandemic. 

Despite these unique challenges, Origin’s team was successful in their efforts. During her discussion with Yash, Vanessa shared several insights for organizations as they consider making similar moves in these uncertain times. 

1. Be Prepared to Pivot

Like many organizations, Origin planned its security based on a traditional model of workers in the office, but 2020 had other plans. “The way we’d architected our solution with Saviynt is that we were sitting behind our network controls,” said Vanessa. Caught off guard by suddenly having people work anywhere from anywhere, Origin was able to make the paradigm shift and onboard about ninety different applications and services. Vanessa credits Saviynt as playing a part in the onboarding success. “So a big thank you to you Saviynt in terms of helping us pivot to being able to utilize different toolsets for our employees to access Saviynt.”

2. Leverage Shared Experience

Vanessa called out the value of reaching out to the Saviynt community throughout their digital transformation journey. “I’ve been in touch with people who are in Austria, and this has all been a result of, you know, the network that Saviynt has set up.” Not only was she able to harness the value of community to help overcome challenges, but so we here team members. They were able to connect with other Saviynt customers who shared tips to get greater value from their identity investment “One thing 2020 has taught many organizations is that no one is an island. We’re all facing similar challenges. Origin leveraged customers’ learning and, in turn, paid it forward by offering their experience for those just starting the journey,” said Vanessa.

3. The Power of Partnership

Vanessa shared a powerful point that software extends beyond the screen and infrastructure. “It isn’t just about the product. It is about the partnership as well.” The best product in the world is only as good as the customer service that backs it up. Having the ability to reach out to the vendor and get rapid and personalized responses makes the difference between success and struggle. “It’s important that the needs of the customer are considered. Saviynt, the team is always willing to consider product enhancements and changes to meet the ever-changing identity space,” said Vanessa.

4. The Future is Zero Trust

Looking ahead, Vanessa challenged organizations to rethink their security model, especially in terms of the Zero Trust. “It isn’t the Google’s of this world who are considering the concept. It’s now the smaller organizations.” She pointed out the fading usefulness of older security models and encouraged organizations to recognize the evolution that has taken place. “Because it isn’t around relying on network controls or office space settings, because we can’t trust anyone. So we need to take that zero trust approach and further utilize the access management controls to support it.”

Coming to a Cloud Near You

We learned a lot in Sydney, but the Saviynt 2020 Global Identity Roadshow has just begun. Our next (virtual) stop is London, England, on October 22, and will feature industry expert Andree Neihbur, who leads SAP Compliance, IT Auditing, and Identity Access Management at Wienerberger AG. Andree will share details about Wienerberger’s award-winning Identity program and his thoughts on enterprise security trends. We’ll also go even deeper into the Saviynt 2020 release with our in-house Identity expert, Jonathan Neal, to learn how Saviynt’s intelligent identity experience increases effectiveness and drives efficiency in the identity process.

We hope you can join us on the road. For a complete listing of all the upcoming Saviynt Roadshows, go here.

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