At the HDI 2016 Conference and Expo, I saw someone wearing a shirt that said “Big Data is the New Bacon.” And that really does sum it up.
Big Data. Two words you can’t escape. There’s probably even an article in the Wall Street Journal today about it (maybe not, but you get my point). Don’t get me wrong, I’m personally guilty of attending a webinar hosted by Teradata and Netflix on how they come up with the movies that are “Recommended for You.” But, for most of us, the Netflix use case is about as far as it goes with big data. On a day-to-day basis around the office, we’re typically pretty far away from the executives discussing big data and its impact on the organization. But, there is another similar conversation that you should be having — while you may not have petabytes, the data you have may be big to you.
Think about your people data — names, departments, sites, titles, addresses, permissions. There are several who might agree that people are the greatest assets to an organization, and people data is 100 percent a large part of that. In guiding enterprises through an RFP process, I often hear from the stakeholders that they just plain have dirty data. It’s outdated and in need of some serious TLC. And, the thing is, it’s not really their fault, but when you have different departments using different applications data is going to end up in silos.
Consider the size of your organization, then think about what it would be like if several departments are using different software to manage their day-to-day tasks. Think of all of the places where the people data could live! Human resources is using Workday or UltiPro, IT is using Active Directory (AD) or Google, employees are using Concur to book travel. And, everyone is using one software to submit tickets or requests (Samanage, I hope). The number of databases involved (whether cloud or on-prem) is endless. Thus, disparate data.
Identity as a Service
There is a tremendous amount of value in putting something in place to manage this. Enter the Identity Management Provider, or IDaaS (Identity as a Service) partner. These players meet a business need by providing a connection between your apps. The functionality provided can position your AD as the singular entry point for data as it changes. From there, the cloud apps are updated by the IDaaS partner’s connector.
What this means is that your AD is the system of record and every other application across the enterprise is updated automatically. When someone is promoted, their role can be updated. When new employees are hired or when you have to off-board someone, the appropriate table updates are made — within Samanage, over at Workday, wherever. As workflows play out, automation will come into play without the need to manually adjust the process. Basically it takes out the guessing game of when a manager’s approval is required, and you wondering how it is decided that a particular person is the right manager.
Understanding the importance of your people data, the frustration that disparate data can cause is just the first step in moving toward a collaborative enterprise — where everyone may not be on the same software, but they are on the same page.