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It’s About Users: From WW2 Bombers to Enterprise Workflows
October 14, 2021
With digital transformation (DX) accelerating, enterprises face a paradigm shift. Not only are there more applications and platforms than ever, but these technologies are increasingly dependent on – and interconnected with – essential digital ecosystems across lines of business, IT teams and security operations. As a result, organizations need to be more agile when it comes to securing access, addressing compliance requirements and driving higher operational efficiency. To achieve this, it’s essential that identity becomes the hub that supports security throughout the entire enterprise.
Tailoring business processes, integration and workflows to the specific needs of your enterprise is essential. But as your business becomes more connected and complicated, your overall security strategy must keep pace to keep you protected. The key to implementing an identity security strategy is to seamlessly streamline both integration and automation so that your environment can be simultaneously more connected and more protected.
So to return to the title of this blog: What exactly is the connection between WW2 bombers and enterprise workflows? The answer involves a brief but fascinating history lesson.
At the height of WW2, the B-17 Flying Fortress had gone from concept to runway in just 12 months and was already establishing itself as a fearsome workhorse of the US Air Force. It would go on to become a symbol of American ingenuity and technological prowess.
But before it became an icon, it was a disaster. The B-17 crashed a shocking 457 times during a single 22-month period of the war. Initial forensics proved puzzling, too, with no evidence of poor training or pilot error. It was only when investigators turned their attention to specific flight controls that they discovered the cause: a major design flaw in the cockpit.
The problem was that the controls for the flaps and landing gear looked (and felt) exactly the same. In crash after crash, pilots had reached to deploy the landing gear only to accidentally release the wing flaps, which disastrously slowed their descent before slamming them into the runway with landing gear still retracted.
The Air Force assembled a team of psychologists from the Aero Medical Laboratory at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base to resolve the issue. The group came up with an ingenious solution: a system of distinctively shaped knobs and levers that made it easy to distinguish the controls of the plane by sight as well as feel. Now, there would be no chance of confusion – even when flying in the dark. This design concept – known as “shape coding” – still governs landing gear and wing flaps in every airplane flying today.
The overarching idea here was to focus on the specific needs of the user, which led to a term we’re all familiar with today: user experience (UX). It’s why the buttons on your videogame controller have different shapes and textures. It’s why the dials and knobs in your car are all slightly different as well – it’s important that you can easily find the right one while driving. And it’s the reason the virtual buttons on your smartphone follow a pattern language – this lets you use the device intuitively.
Today, the leading principles of UX are being applied to enterprise automation and workflows – specifically by eliminating the need for coding. No-code workflows mean you can embed identity security processes across your organization with just a few clicks. Imagine how efficient a simple drag-and-drop interface could be in terms of facilitating workflow setup, especially by leveraging APIs and event triggers. Your IT team would be able to deliver security and compliance with complete confidence.
No-code workflows provide organizations with an enhanced ability to embed identity security throughout their business, streamlining the complexity of building tailored workflows.
This drag-and-drop interface, in fact, is similar in spirit to the redesigned controls on a B-17 – intuitive, easy to use and designed to eliminate extra work and errors. No longer is there a chance of confusion, delay or “crash,” helping your organization move beyond a human-based, manual approach to truly protect against security risks at scale and connect identity throughout your digital ecosystem.
Through the use of identity security automation and workflows, this vision now becomes a reality. Enterprises are able to:
To learn more about how SailPoint and Optiv can simplify and automate your manual processes and improve your overall identity security, be sure to check out SailPoint, no-code Workflows.
Our Identity Governance as-a-Service solution powered by SailPoint can be deployed rapidly, allowing...
July 20, 2021
Zero Trust is a concept. It’s not a single product or solution. Learn more about SailPoint Predictive Identity.
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