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Is All Convergence Created Equal?

Author: Greg Liewer

Date: 09/14/2023

Separate fact from fiction in the search for a truly comprehensive identity security solution

Nonstop market, organizational, and technology changes are exhausting security and risk management leaders.

Not surprisingly, adding security, resiliency, and flexibility to identity infrastructure is more pressing than ever. Leaders recognize the need to combine capabilities across IGA, PAM, and AAG/GRC to reduce threat landscapes, and simplify competing demands for better security, authentication, and access.  

In response, the Converged Identity Platform concept emerged – a new model of consolidated, SaaS-delivered IAM pioneered by Saviynt.

Convergence is Having an Identity Crisis 

Now, convergence is all the rage. By 2025, 70% of new access management, governance, administration and privileged access deployments will be converged platforms, Gartner reports. 

To capitalize on the buzz, vendors are quick to dub their offerings as “converged.” 

But as companies target simpler identity governance, they must understand true convergence and assess what capabilities actually reduce silos and systems fragmentation, and support compliance.

Convergence is more than just repackaging distinct entities. True convergence knits access, security, and governance capabilities via a flexible and extensible cloud platform. 

Necessarily, it solves security lapses caused by multiple, disparate point products and enables security whether identity or access information are located on-premises, in the cloud, or in hybrid environments.


Buyer Beware: Unmasking Faux ‘Convergence’

Genuine convergence isn’t: 

  • A solution lifted and shifted to the cloud that brings along legacy technical debt
  • Separate point solutions disguised as a single platform 
  • “Light” and lacking the ability to expand and scale to meet heavier enterprise demands 
  • Difficult to configure or requiring heavy customization, additional coding or professional services to meet goals 

More than just underperformance, “converged-in-name-only” solutions actually undermine identity security by offering a false sense of safety. 

To help evaluate truly unified solutions, keep in mind the convergence fundamentals:

1. Authentic convergence means: cloud-architected.

IGA vendors may now move solution infrastructure to the cloud and re-market as “cloud-based.” But this doesn’t solve the management challenges that cloud-architected solutions do. So, although buyers no longer require on-premises infrastructure, when platforms are “lifted” to the cloud, cumbersome architecture and management issues remain. 

Training and other third-party professional services investments also likely continue, adding operational costs.

Keep in mind: just because a platform supports single sign-on, there’s no guarantee that you’re operating from a single management pane or that capabilities are fully integrated. And if you end up managing fragmented products anyway, what’s the point of convergence?

2. Authentic convergence means: business-ready

As if evaluation wasn’t hard enough, gradients of convergence exist in the market. Companies can end up with “convergence-lite” solutions – when a fully integrated, enterprise-ready platform is needed. 

Light solutions are more likely to only support identities in a single cloud, and generally can’t manage on-premises or custom-built applications and the identities associated with them. Light solutions rarely cover all identities or applications, and often fail to address those within multi-cloud and hybrid environments. 

Rarely do light solutions provide full automation capabilities, which means administrators and support teams still rely on manual processes for routine access requests, certification campaigns, and provisioning.  

As for reporting and auditing capabilities, the provided information may be limited and not useful for continuous compliance.

As companies consider solution robustness, they must look ahead too. As a business evolves and security demands expand, IT may have to support growth with a piece-mealed approach of integrating additional point products – thereby making a later upgrade a rip-and-replace headache.

3. Authentic convergence means: easily-configurable

Enterprises want versatility, not complex customization that slows down deployments or updates. In fact, configurability not customization is what actually matters. 

Knowing the difference is hard, especially given the slick sales speak out there.

In general, customization reflects the need to code features, attributes, or connections. But converged platforms take advantage of genuine integration, and support capabilities like drag-and-drop management within an application interface. 

Enterprises that embrace configurability (and reject heavy platform customization) tend to unlock better, earlier, ROI and avoid hidden security costs. 

While customization can provide some functionality, companies that rely on this approach quickly find that basic troubleshooting or security and compliance updates grow complex and costly.

Converging on Simpler Identity Management 

Modern identity programs demand intelligent access and governance for any app, identity, or cloud. And only genuinely converged platforms deliver this, while building a zero trust foundation to stay ahead of new cyberthreats.

Our team at Saviynt pioneered this model, and continues to help global enterprises deploy best-in-class cloud-first identity and access governance capabilities. 


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