HR-Data is vital for mature Identity and Access Management processes. Without a trusted master source for your employee data, it is nearly impossible to control your digital identities within the organization. And as you all know, security starts with being in control over your digital identities.

So, when Workday becomes the new source of your employees, you have a challenge. How do you make sure that the new source will not disrupt all your current IAM processes? In this blog, I have combined some critical lessons learned to take into account when Workday becomes the new master source for your IAM processes:

1. Form a hybrid team of WD and IAM experts:
To be successful, both experts of Workday and IAM should work closely together during the project to make sure the integration goes well. Make them both responsible for the success of the integration.

2. Joiner/Mover/Leaver (J/M/L) processes:
It all starts in the business. By having well defined and standardized J/M/L processes, the journey can begin. Be careful with the data model of Workday since it’s usually quite different from a typical IAM one. On one hand. Workday has multiple records for a single employee when he is working in multiple departments at the same time. On the other hand, IAM implementations usually prefer a single digital identity for the employee.

3. Map J/M/L processes to the IAM J/M/L processes
With Workday becoming the new source of information, IAM processes will change. More self-service will be implemented, and new triggers will be sent to IAM to start or change data in the digital identity. Also, gaps need to be identified and flagged. Critical in this phase is to understand the data that is coming from Workday. Attributes are changing, such as workers ID, departmental structure, location structure, legal name vs preferred names. All kind of attributes will change, and you will have to understand how this might impact the current IAM processes.

4. Create a letter of understanding
A letter of understanding should be written, to make sure the DevOps teams will develop the correct integration between Workday and your Identity Governance solution. In this document you can add the attribute mapping (on data level), describe the exceptions, prepare an overview of the data changes to inform application owners of downstream applications that master data is about to change.

The letter of understanding is an essential milestone before starting the development of the integration.

5. Prepare and test the data migration
A new HR master source will impact the current employees the moment you don’t test and think about the migration. Migrating is key for the success of your project. If everything goes well, the employees don’t know that something has changed. If things go wrong… employees will not be able to work anymore, and the business impact will be tremendous.

Data-quality of the source should be checked by HR before being sent to IAM and IAM should compare the Identities with old (former HR sources) and new data. Changes in digital identities should be analysed before go-live.

6. The combined hyper care team
During the go-live, a team with Workday and IAM knowledge should be available to support the go-live and ready to help users. For users it is not clear who is responsible for changes in their Identity. They might probably call the IT service desk, but probably the cause is with the HR source. A combined team should pick this up quickly to minimize business impact during go-live.

7. Aftercare with hyper care
Be aware that due to the change in the HR system, also HR employees have to get used to working with the system and the impact changes might have on IAM. If Workday is not used correctly in the beginning, this may lead to additional mistakes and questions towards the combined HR/IAM team.

Of course, there is much more to know when changing your master source to Workday, but a structured approach and good understanding of how Workday interacts with your IAM systems is vital.

What is your experience on the impact on IAM with Workday as the master source?

Happy to hear from you!

Eelco Veltenaar

Managing Director

Let us know!