Identity and Access Management at Miami

You can’t spell Miami without IAM

Identity and Access Management is, at its heart, a phrase that describes the process by which people access the tools and resources they need. It asks and answers three questions:

  • Who are you?
  • What is your role?
  • What permissions do you need to fulfill your role?

At Miami, those questions can be complicated. Students, faculty, staff, alumni, emeriti… There are a lot of different roles—and therefore account types and permissions—to manage.

Once these questions are answered clearly, it provides a picture of what kinds of applications and systems you need in order to be successful. Students need access to Canvas. Some staff members need access to Banner. Faculty may need access to both.

IT Services is working on a project that will make answering these questions—and keeping track of our roles—easier and more user-friendly. The Identity and Access Management Program will touch all of the various systems used throughout the University (e.g., Banner, myMiami, Gmail, TeamDynamix, etc.) and will help us determine a better way to manage account types and the appropriate permissions associated with them. With IAM in place, it will be easier to grant access to the resources you need, when you need it.

After all, you can’t spell Miami without IAM!

Why do we need IAM at Miami?

There are several key benefits of IAM that will be immediately apparent:

  1. It makes your job easier. When we can more accurately determine the role and required permissions of the person logging in, we can help them access the tools they need to do their job or excel in their coursework. And as their roles change (for instance, if a former student gets hired as a staff member), permissions will change with them.
  2. It improves security. We can make sure that people are who they say they are—the “identity” part of the phrase. This helps keep the malicious actors out and our community in. What’s more, giving the right people access to the right things at the right time means that everyone’s data is more secure.
  3. Speed! This new program will bring greater flexibility and security to many different systems at Miami. Onboarding will be simplified.

IAM also means greater compliance with regulatory standards, reducing demands on IT resources, and faster workflows. Simply put: You get access to what you need, when you need it.

All of these benefits come together to form a more complete picture of who you are, what your role is at Miami, and how you fit into the grand scheme of things from a technology standpoint.

IAM Project Updates

8/12/2022

The IAM project team is getting ready to send out a request for proposal (RFP) for our new IGA tool. After meeting with some of our friends at the University of Notre Dame (who also recently underwent an initiative to improve IAM posture) and speaking more with MTC, the project team is ready to create an accurate RFP that will stress what we are looking for in our IGA solution.

In the meantime, we are also still looking at what business processes we need to improve in advance of this rollout. 

6/13/2022

We slowed the program down over the last couple of months to accommodate shifting schedules and new folks joining the team. But we're ramping up again, with another round of meetings with Moran Technology Consulting (MTC) about how to score potential vendors for our future robust Identity Governance Administration (IGA) tool.

The team is working on presentations to be given at the executive level. Next steps after that are to work with MTC to draft a request for proposal. We're nearing the next phase!