Explosive Growth in Global IAM Creates Worsening Talent Shortage (Part 1)

Explosive Growth in Global IAM Creates Worsening Talent Shortage (Part 1)

We’ve all heard it said many times that “Identity is the new security perimeter.” 

This explains the increasing market interest in holistic enterprise deployment of traditional Identity & Access Management (IAM) solutions that may include provisioning, directory security, single sign-on (SSO), multifactor authentication (MFA), and especially Privileged Access Management (PAM). When combined with access controls based on Identity Governance & Administration (IGA) and a meaningful baseline of user behavior analytics, an enterprise can create powerful identity protection that can significantly lower the risk of a catastrophic data breach.  

The C-level suite understands that an effective IAM deployment is crucial to achieve IT compliance and greatly improve the organization’s overall security posture.  The fast-growth success of the global IAM markets includes expanding IT Auditors controls, Regulatory Compliance requirements, and Best Practices for IT Risk Management. The need for effective IAM solutions has led to rising demand for highly qualified and certified IAM talent.

With demand for qualified Identity technology talent now routinely exceeding available supply, companies across all industries are finding it increasingly difficult to staff the necessary technical experts on their payrolls to meet their IAM needs. When launching or upgrading IAM technology, they are routinely relying upon ecosystem service partners, including IAM vendors, to augment their technical and project staffing needs tied to the IAM project deployment.

The impressive YoY sales results regularly reported by major IAM Vendors shows this clear relationship. This growing customer demand has prompted IAM vendors to ensure they are adequately staffed to meet the rising demand for their services to help deliver IAM projects on time and within budget for their customers.

But the IAM vendors have also discovered that having their own ready bench of talent can be costly when the firm is in between projects. The costs add up quickly when overstaffed on any given day while their bench of employees sits idle while waiting for the next big IAM project to come in.

Goal: A Zero Cost Bench

Most enterprise IAM projects have a broad scope of requirements, often with multiple products needed, and the project implementations often take many months to complete.  These firms are increasingly looking at ecosystem resources to dynamically augment their certified delivery staff to achieve their project goals, including profitability and timeliness.

Understandably, many IAM-related vendors, advisory firms and resellers have historically looked to traditional staffing firms in the past to address this staffing challenge. But IAM vendors usually found the recruiting experience took longer than expected. Even worse, the talent eventually hired often did not have the necessary skills and experience, leading to lackluster results and higher costs (both are outcomes dreaded by any project manager on a tight timeline and with strict budget constraints!)

The problem? Most traditional staffing firms do not have the specialized technical knowledge or the readily available roster of qualified talent to quickly help IAM vendors source a bench of certified personnel.

To help with this ‘feast or famine’ talent problem, many IAM vendors are discovering the benefits of engaging with a boutique ‘purpose-built’ IAM staffing firms, like Identity & Access Solutions (IAAS), to create a Just-in-Time (JIT), “On-Demand Bench Strength” capability the vendors so desperately need.

These valuable JIT resources augment the vendors’ existing full-time staff and can assist them with timely project delivery.  At IAAS, our proven effective business model is 100% focused on providing the necessary range of experienced & IAM-certified presales, architectural and delivery staffing resources to IAM vendors and service providers as needed, whether for short-term or ongoing assignments. As a result, we have seen demand for our talent service grow double-digit every year since our founding in 2015.

The IAAS “Zero Cost Bench” approach greatly benefits these IAM vendors, enabling them to drive internal delivery utilization rates up to 100% on a ‘as needed’ basis. Utilizing IAAS for staffing eliminates the HR burden on vendors (involving weeks of interviews and the staff cost) to look for hard to find talent.

Every day, more IAM vendors are discovering the benefits of utilizing the IAAS bench of talent as a cost effective and efficient way to quickly identify suitable candidates needed to satisfy IAM project staffing requirements. Doing so allows the IAM vendors to complete their statement of work (SOW) as cost efficiently and quickly as possible (making their customer very happy!) and allowing them to more quickly move on to the next money-making assignment with another customer.

The Expanding Talent Gap

We all know there is a growing gap between the available pool of certified, experienced architectural & delivery ‘Subject Matter Experts’ (SMEs) versus the rapid growth of IAM sales/projects. This is not a new phenomenon – it’s been this way since the beginning of IAM.  It’s just that now the shortage is becoming more acute and noticeable – affecting both delivery backlogs and profitability.  This seems to parallel the well-publicized disparity in the growing cybersecurity market versus the shortage of trained analysts.

If you’d like to discuss your IAM talent needs, please contact us so we can show you why our customers have relied on our trusted vetting process and the quality talent we have been providing on ‘JIT’ basis since 2015!

Please stay tuned to future blog posts for a deeper dive on IAM market segments and prognostications – to include drivers and the current state of exponential growth for IAM, IDaaS, PAM, IGA, and Cloud Identity.

Author: Ric Weeks, IAAS Client Director