Gartner Research

Building the Business Case for Identity Management Investment

Published: 03 January 2006

ID: G00204073

Analyst(s): Gerry Gebel, Daniel G. Beckett, Jr.


Most organizations require a business case to evaluate whether to make identity management investments, and information technology (IT) managers often struggle with constructing a financially oriented document. In this Methodologies and Best Practices document, Senior Consultant Dan Beckett provides information and guidelines for assembling a compelling business case. The document discusses how to represent hard savings as well as how to include intangible benefits.

Table Of Contents

Management Summary


  • Why Are IdM Business Cases Important?
  • The Challenge: Business Cases Are Forecasts
  • Evolving Landscape: It's Not All About the Numbers (but Numbers Still Matter)

Scoping the IdM Business Case

  • IdM Costs and Benefits That Are Usually Cited
  • Soft Benefits Need Not Apply?
  • Monetizing Risk

Creating the Strategic IdM Business Case

  • Categories of Business Benefits
  • Increasing Business Value
    • Improved User Experience
    • Enabling E-business and Collaboration
    • Speed to Market
    • Post-M&A Assimilation
  • Containing Cost
    • Enhancing the Time to Productivity
    • Doing More with Fewer (or the Same) Resources
    • Consolidation of IT Infrastructure
    • Reducing Outsourced Contract Values
    • Containing Development Costs
  • Improving Compliance
    • Internal Auditing
    • Regulatory Compliance
    • Competitive Compliance
  • Reducing Risk
    • Security Lifecycle Management
    • Security Policy Enforcement
    • Data Integrity and Confidentiality

The Opportunity Cost of Not Investing in IdM

Creating the Financial Business Case

  • Terminology
  • Sample Metrics
    • Core Metrics
    • System Performance Metrics
    • Development Metrics
    • Detailed Cost Models and Metrics
  • Sample Spreadsheet

Recommendations for Building a Successful Business Case

  • Socializing the Project
  • Gathering Requirements
  • Get Creative
  • Business Context and Objectives
  • Size Matters
  • State Assumptions and Constraints
  • Instill Confidence in Your Assumptions
  • Selling Efficiency Gains
  • Which Costs Are Excluded?
  • Include the Necessary Financial Details
  • High-Level Schedule
  • Alternatives or Options

Steps After Project Approval


Appendix A

  • User Provisioning
  • Self-Service Password Reset
  • Single Sign-On
  • Federated Identity
  • Recommended

Appendix B: Sample Business Case Outline

  • Business Case Objectives and Summary
  • Alternatives
  • Financial Metrics
  • Supporting Arguments
  • Project Schedule
  • Critical Assumptions and Risk Issues
  • Recommendations and Conclusions

Appendix C

  • Total Cost of Ownership
  • Net Cash Flow
  • Discounted Cash Flow
  • Return on Investment
  • Net Present Value
  • Internal Rate of Return

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