I recently wrote about the cost of managing Active Directory groups, where a look was taken at how calculating what it truly costs your organization to manage groups within AD. For organizations large and small, the costs (relatively speaking) are material. And those material costs only revolve around IT reacting to the requested changes made of them, and don’t necessarily even include the cost of appropriately managing a group throughout its entire lifecycle.
Proper AD group management can be costly, so we recommend delegating responsibility to users outside of IT; this will not only improve your security, but will also help to reduce the cost of group management. But without the right tools, these steps can also create more work for IT. So, the question becomes, will a third-party group management solution increase the cost or show a return on the investment?
Calculating Group Management ROI
Assuming you’re going to take on some level of cost associated with both purchasing a solution, as well as the manual labor needed to manage groups, there are two distinct areas where a solution cuts down the overall cost of group management, resulting in an actual return on investment:
- Automation – Think about all the tasks that need to be done – creating new groups, modifying group memberships, purging distribution lists when employees leave, and deleting unnecessary groups (to name a few). Then, add on more complex processes, such as changes to group memberships that require approvals. All of this can be completely automated through dynamic groups, enforced policies, and defined workflows – ensuring consistency, accuracy, accountability, and security.
- Delegation – Every helpdesk receives a material number of calls annually around needed changes to both security and distribution groups. By delegating group management responsibility to department heads, line of business owners, application owners, and – yes – even regular users, an organization can avoid these costly helpdesk calls.
To calculate an ROI, you obviously need to what it costs you today to manage groups over a period of (usually) 3 years. And once you have that, you can compare it against the cost associated with purchasing and implementing a solution that provides the automation and delegation around AD group management.
We commissioned a Forrester Total Economic Impact study to determine the ROI GroupID provides enterprise organizations.
After carefully calculating the cost of AD group management, as well as the costs related to licensing, implementing, and training on Group ID, using an average customer size of 25K employees, Forrester found the following results:
- A net savings of just over $4M
- An ROI of 542% (yes, 542%!)
- A payback period of just under 4 months.
Here’s a snapshot of the detail used to derive these values:
Getting a return on your ADGM investment
Proper group management isn’t a simple task. It involves significant time to ensure groups are correctly configured to facilitate proper security and user productivity. The answer isn’t to just purchase a solution, but to find one that addresses the challenges of manual administration, lack of delegation, lack of consistency, and lack of accountability. By doing so, you will find your IT organization in a position where groups are no longer the bane of your existence and are, instead, are a useful integrated method to allow users to empower themselves to get their jobs done.
It’s this created state of “group Nirvana” by a solution that facilitates the both a monetary and cultural return on investment – delegated work, done right, by more than just IT, in a much quicker fashion, with accurate and predictable results.
Read the Forrester report The Total Economic Impact™ Of Imanami GroupID.