User lifecycle management (ULM) begins when a candidate accepts a job offer and continues until that employee leaves the company.
For HR and IT departments, this means creating user credentials and connecting new employees to cloud resources.
COVID has put user lifecycle management back in the spotlight with workforce disruption, layoffs, and resignations.
So not only are IT and HR leaders swamped due to stay-at-home workers and managers, they’re trying to contend with the amount of SaaS these employees use.
Some of these applications are allowed by the organization, and some are not, adding a whole layer of complexity. (After all, companies can’t deprovision what they can’t see.)
Below we cover best practices for user lifecycle management, focusing on onboarding and offboarding. We also share policies that we argue every IT team should implement.
These policies can not only save you money and time but reduce the chance of devastating security breaches.
What Is Onboarding?
Onboarding is a planned series of events and milestones that bring new employees onto the team, helping them understand their role and what success looks like.
Onboarding’s overall goal is to fully encompass the new employees in the company and ensure they become productive team members.
One of the critical components of this is the software and tools they need to gain access to. The average employee uses eight applications daily.
How to Effectively Onboard Employees
Onboarding employees effectively is critical for any organization. Not only does it help build culture and happy employees, but it also leads to a more productive team and company. (Doing it right is also essential for security and compliance.)
A formal IT onboarding process helps new hires:
- Familiarize themselves with hardware and software they’ll be using
- Set up corporate accounts
- Learn and follow security guidelines
- Feel confident they have the tools to get their work done
As we already mentioned, an onboarding policy provisions new accounts across SaaS apps and grant access to all necessary groups, calendars, files, assets, etc.
As you probably already know, this is a process that can, and should, be automated.
Many of the tasks are repetitive, manual, and time-consuming, so there is no reason that a person should be directly in charge of them.
When they are an employee’s task, they may not always be at the top of the to-do list and easily slip by for days or weeks (or never get done). If you implement automation, you can ensure that it never happens.
It’s why we recommend companies invest in a single tool that automates the onboarding process, particularly as it relates to SaaS technology. (You can learn more about how SaaS scripting can help here.)
What Is Offboarding?
Employee offboarding is a systematic way for organizations to manage an employee’s departure, ensuring consistency, and reducing risk to the organization.
A large number of companies handle employee offboarding (also known as: “termination procedures” and “offboarding”) through loose, manual processes like emails, phone calls, and private conversations.
While there may be an offboarding policy in place, a lax offboarding workflow can be extremely dangerous and puts businesses at risk if the policy doesn’t drive the process.
Information Week shares a sobering stat: 50% of ex-employees can still access corporate cloud applications.
Based on a study of five hundred IT decision-makers, their findings indicate that few firms have adequate provisioning, deprovisioning, termination, and login management processes in place.
How to Effectively Offboard Employees
One of the first things you need in place is a transparent communication process between HR and IT. IT must be aware before off-boarding an employee so it can prioritize the necessary tasks.
As soon as someone is disassociated from your firm, you should automatically suspend all emails and access your customer relationship management system.
To ensure that nothing is left to chance, you should also run through an offboarding checklist immediately to verify that access to all systems has been terminated.
The challenge is that you need to figure out what apps employees have signed up for and used, what access permissions you must revoke, and what company data resides in these apps.
With the proliferation of Shadow IT, it’s not always easy to do this. That’s where a SaaS management platform like Augmentt comes into play.
A single dashboard for all SaaS apps and usage can increase visibility and avoid security risks associated with employee offboarding.
For example, employees can be quickly onboarded and offboarded to and from the applications they need. Plus, reports can readily show which users have access to what applications, and which licenses.
These processes can automate and simplify life for IT, enabling greater efficiency and productivity.
Takeaways From Best Practices for User Lifecycle Management
The stakes for an effective user lifecycle management process are high. There’s been an exponential growth in the number of applications that undeniably increases the risk and time involved. Using a SaaS management platform is crucial to ensuring that nothing falls through the cracks.