VMware’s Key Takeaways for Successful IGA Transformation

Sue Olsen

Sue Olsen

Follow VMware’s Identity Governance Journey for Actionable Advice as You Modernize Your IGA Program

VMware is a leading provider of multi-cloud services for all apps, enabling digital innovation with enterprise control. Founded in 1998, they have grown into a major global corporation with over 31,000 employees and $11.77 billion in revenue. When they decided to modernize their Identity Governance and Administration (IGA) program, they faced a considerable challenge. Speaking at Converge 2021, VMware’s Tim Mooney, Senior Director of Infosec, described the the company’s situation at the start of their IGA transformation:

  • VMware was transitioning from a product to a services company
  • IT leadership wanted to migrate from an on-premises implementation to SaaS
  • VMware was under increased regulatory pressure from the transition to a services business model

Planning and Partnerships are Key

VMware’s Infosec team needed to move its hybrid infrastructure to the cloud. As Tim described, he wanted to “configure, not customize,” and move away from existing homegrown solutions. His goal: automate joiner/mover/leaver and access recertification processes with Saviynt Enterprise Identity Cloud.

Identity transformation involves many business processes, stakeholders, employees, contractors, and staff. As Tim observed, many IT teams quickly jump into implementation only to realize they’re stuck in a pothole because they’ve missed some key elements. VMware wanted to avoid that approach.

Partnering with EY, they spent considerable time in the planning stage, collaborating with business units and HR — including setting up a governance committee — before moving on to implementation. Working with the business units, Tim and his team tried to understand their problems and the critical applications and services. The governance committee’s role was to approve the program’s direction and business goals, and help manage some of the organizational challenges they encountered. Tim stresses the importance of getting buy-in from the departments that will be most affected by the project and keeping stakeholders updated and informed about the benefits of the new technology and the progress of the effort. 

Massive Transformation, Impressive Results

During implementation, VMware streamlined its onboarding and offboarding processes and focused on improving the user experience for employees. As a result, it met VMware’s Day Zero productivity challenge for getting new hires set up with everything they need – before they even walk through the door.

The project’s results are impressive:

  • An application onboarding factory model that resulted in the onboarding of 330+ applications over 2 years — greatly reducing business risk, and improving user experience
  • 23 SAP apps with SoD analysis and mitigation in Saviynt
  • Data-driven role mining with 4 million+ access records scanned
  • Role recommendation for ease of access request and recertification

Top Recommendations for Your IGA Modernization Project

For your IGA modernization project, Tim’s recommendations companies:

  • Adopt hybrid Agile approach: Maximize Agile but not at the cost of inhibiting control over program objectives and outcomes. 
  • Solidify foundational design early so that the overall project timeline does not get impacted as design details emerge overtime.
  • Don’t wait until UAT to show functionality to Business. Early demos to stakeholders (in Dev) help avoid rework and save precious time.
  • Have a backup for the backup plan to maintain a healthy app onboarding pipeline, avoid customization and make exceptions difficult to obtain.
  • Train IAM staff throughout implementation and engage OCM frequently.
  • Choose the right implementation partner for a long-term relationship and continued success of the program.

Having been through their comprehensive IGA transformation, VMware is now ready for the future. As Tim says, “Now that you’ve got the foundation solid, you can move very fast.”

For a deeper dive into VMware’s IGA transformation – with clear takeaways and more actionable advice from Tim Mooney and EY’s Ankan Sharma – watch the presentation from Saviynt CONVERGE 21 on demand.

13. From Zero to Sixty

From Zero to Sixty: A Case Study in IGA Transformation

VMware, Ernst & Young

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