Identity as a Service helps higher education overcome digital challenges

How Okta IDaaS provides universities with all the tools they need to help manage the student lifecycle

Did you know that the UK’s edtech market is expected to reach £3.4bn by 2021, and is growing at 22% annually? As a result of this growth, today’s universities have new opportunities to improve the efficiency, control and security of both their internal and external operations, however IT and digital challenges can also occur in turn.

Higher education providers use a number of different cloud-based apps as part of their operations, such as Google Docs, Office 365, Canvas, Ellucian, Blackboard, and Workday, among others. Despite the fact that many universities have a cloud-first mindset for the future, many are still operating in a hybrid IT environment with a mixture of cloud and on-premises applications. In addition, many also use a combination of on­premises Identity and Access Management (IAM) systems, as well as manual processes, which can result in inefficiencies in infrastructure and maintenance costs.

Cloud-based authentication or identity management systems known as Identity as a Service (IDaaS) are built and operated by third-party providers, and can help colleges and universities to counteract these challenges by driving benefits and managing risk in several different ways:

3 ways that IDaaS can reduce digital challenges

1.Reducing IT costs and improving reliability

As an IAM solution provides access to most, if not all, applications, reliability is key. However, ensuring the high availability of on-premises solutions can come at a high price, especially in regards to the maintenance and upgrades of these systems. When any application is upgraded, the often custom work can often cost around £11,000-£19,000 for a new app connector and £39,000-£77,000 for an on-premises identity system connector.

On top of this, maintenance can cost an additional 15% of the initial set-up cost annually. However, as lDaaS is delivered 100% as a service, it not only eliminates the unnecessary maintenance, operations and security costs of on-premises IAM, but it can also improve an institutions ability to automate, scale and secure their operations.

As an Identity and Access Management (1AM) solution provides access to most, if not all, applications, reliability is key

2.Accelerate cloud adoption 

As IDaaS is a scalable future-proof solution that connects to your existing infrastructure, it can solve your organisation’s identity issues once and for all and also speed up your cloud adoption. IDaaS is designed to connect all of your users (faculty, staff, students and alumni) to anything with security that doesn’t sacrifice ease of use, offer lifetime accounts to students, onboard new recruits, promote them to student access, and then graduate them to alumni status with differentiated access rights throughout.

3.Increase efficiency

Most internet users expect to be able to self-service their own password recovery, however many existing IAM deployments fail to implement this critical feature, which can result in a large number of calls to IT departments in order for passwords to be reset. IDaaS allows IT to reduce the time spent on help desk tickets, as well as manual integration and provisioning work, offering automation and efficiency so your IT team can spend more time on valuable strategic work.

With high availability, reliability and security, Okta IDaaS provides higher education establishments with all the tools they need to manage the student lifecycle. Offering automation and efficiency, it allows IT teams to gain sophisticated control of student identities and give seamless access to the apps they need. With over 80 pre-integrated apps for provisioning and deprovisioning, including Box, Office 365, G Suite, Cornerstone, Adobe, Workday, and Dropbox, and extensible integrations for apps like Ellucian, Blackboard, and Canvas, it can help your college or university to stay ahead of the technology curve.

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