SunTrust began the process of defining access control roles in February 2003. By the end of the first year it had assigned roles for 60 percent of its 35,000 employees. Callahan says he hopes to reach 80 percent by the end of this year.
There is no doubt that implementing an identity management scheme can be expensive, complex, and time-consuming, but it can also lead to greater efficiencies and cost savings over the long haul. More importantly, the alternatives aren’t pretty.
Like insurance, the true value of an IDM infrastructure is often measured against the bad things that could happen if you don’t have one -- from running afoul of federal regulations to inadvertently exposing sensitive data to unauthorized parties.
“What would you pay to avoid being featured in a negative article on the front page of the Wall Street Journal? You’d pay a lot,” says Counterpane’s Weir-Jones. “In the end, it’s a lot cheaper to be well prepared than to recover from being ill prepared.”