Cloud services typically minimize friction and risk for businesses of every size, and at every stage of growth. They’re just more adaptable and scale more easily than existing on-premise solutions that tend to be costly and difficult to manage. Particularly for the enterprise, cloud services offer greater IT agility, helping to grow the business in a much shorter timeframe.
Fortunately, many cloud services play well with other cloud services, but it can be hard to keep track of who’s using what. And if you’re using software like Zendesk to help track and manage inquires—particularly for your internal help desk—then chances are you’re resolving tickets associated with other cloud services.
That’s why it’s key to ensure that all end users and all cloud services are being tracked and managed in a simple, secure way. Which is where Identity and Access Management as a Service (IDaaS) can be really valuable, helping to remove friction from day-to-day operations and to reduce overall risk to your organization and the customers you support.
Support gets easier
Support agents, whether serving internal employees or external customers, require access to the right tools and resources to do their job. So whether this means opening a ticket on behalf of a customer, or tracking a request submitted by an internal user, agents are accessing their customer service platform as well as countless other applications, including external knowledge bases, in order to resolve an issue. For example, agents or internal IT might bounce between product documentation, order tracking, CRM or accounting systems, and various other collaboration and project management tools. As this can impact their resolution time and customer satisfaction, centralizing management, bringing up new applications quickly, and automating provisioning is important. With IDaaS software like OneLogin, agents can simply log in once and access all the application resources they need.
User experience is better
Let’s face it, keeping your customers satisfied has a ripple effect throughout the organization. When you have happy customers, you’ve made the marketing team happy—their life is easier when they have customers willing to serve as references, and it’s easier to bring your company’s message to market. Engineering benefits when they are able to address problems for one customer and thereby preempt potential issues for other customers.
The single sign-on capability provided by IDaaS software enables that expected user and agent experience—fast problem resolution, ability to switch easily between apps and devices, without the challenge of remembering dozens of passwords. And from a security perspective, the obligation lies on the IDaaS provider, allowing agents to focus on their job.
Exposure is reduced
There are two elemental functions of access control: getting the right people access to the right resources at the right time, and denying others access if they don’t have the correct privileges. Ideally you want your support team to be uniquely authenticated to gain access to all the apps they need, and for that process to be convenient and, basically, invisible.
For customer support, having additional step up authentication services to control access to different resources is mandatory. And being able to quickly modify access rights, should an agent change roles, or to de-provision users when they leave the company, mitigates the risks of intentional or inadvertent data loss or corruption.
Loop in external users
Many enterprises have a bevvy of users not directly employed by the company. They might be contractors or temporary staff, partners or affiliates, power users in the community, and so on. In the customer service world, using a product like Zendesk, these might be people you consider “light agents.” They’re not working in the tool every day, but they are at times in the cloud, using the tool.
Many companies don’t want to incur the overhead or risk of adding these users to their core directories, even though they still require access to resources associated with the business. This means they won’t be authenticated to a directory service like Active Directory, or associated with a system of record like Workday. But with an IDaaS solution like OneLogin, they can self-register to a cloud directory so that you can enable services on their behalf based on their group or role. Taken together, identity management in the cloud enables you to help drive customer satisfaction—in the cloud, on mobile, over social, or however and wherever you need to help your customers.
Chip Epps is Senior Director of Product Marketing at OneLogin, the innovator in enterprise identity management, providing the industry’s leading SaaS solution for managing internal and external users across all devices and applications.