Lack of automation causes significant loss of technology assets when offboarding workers

A new study of offboarding commissioned by Enterprise Technology Management Oomnitza found that 28% of respondents lost more than 10% of their technology assets while offboarding because of inefficiencies in manual workflow processes.

Arthur Lozinski, CEO and co-founder of Oomnitza

Today Oomnitza, which makes Enterprise Technology Management (ETM) solutions which include automated offboarding solutions, is announcing the results of a new survey, “The 2022 State of Offboarding Process Automation Report.” It found significant losses of equipment during offboarding stemming from manual offboarding processes, which are particularly inefficient where large layoffs are involved. It also found that nearly half of IT leaders expressed doubt about their company’s ability to effectively automate the onboarding and offboarding of workers. The research was conducted by YouGov, and is based on a survey of 213 senior level information technology professionals from companies of more than 1,000 employees across a diverse set of industries within the United States.

Oomnitza plays in the fields of Enterprise Technology Management, which they define very broadly, and which includes multiple types of business process automation solutions.

“Our definition includes endpoints, like POS systems, tablets for truck drivers, networking, from physical routers up, and cloud infrastructure,” said Arthur Lozinski, CEO and co-founder of Oomnitza. “Over the last 10 ten plus years we have seen an exponential growth in this.

“We manage it through a number of steps — purchase the technology, deploy it, monitor it, secure it and service it when it’s down,” Lozinski continued. “The way you purchase AWS is very different from the way you purchase mobile devices for your fleet, so the process affects a lot of different systems. Most companies do that with tickets and ITSM systems, but with tickets you have a lot of data and a ton of process gaps.”

Lozinski said that their main competition is companies’ own internal efforts.

“Most companies manage this manually through tickets,” he stated. “ServiceNow, for example, is a ticketer. We don’t see them as competitive with us, because their issue is that even larger companies don’t have enough people to manage it all. We can achieve that through automation, as the automation part we have built is remarkable.”

Oomnitza has a channel, which is heavily focused on global systems integrators [GSIs]

“We work with many large GSIs like CapGemini, Deloitte, and WWT,” Lozinski said. “We don’t do very well with VARs, but we do better with service providers and consultancies.”

Lozinski said that Enterprise Technology Management can offboard an employee in 1.2 seconds.

“That’s one key business process that is top of mind with this,” he said. “We also do audit readiness, and compliance validation. We did not do a study of compliance and audit readiness in this report, but we will do so in the future.”

The focus of this study is offboarding.

“When we were talking to our install base and to new customers, we realized this was a key process that today is error prone because of the manual effort involved,” Lozinski noted. “Offboarding one person can take tons of tickets. This means there is tons of risk, especially now with layoffs in technology. The companies can take their laptops, but the departing employees still tend to have SSO access. Bad actors leaving a company are also just a small part of the risk, as compliance and financial risk are also issues.”

The study found that 27% of respondents reported losses of more than 10% of their technology assets while offboarding.

“This literally means loss of physical hardware, but it’s more than just the employee walking away with their notebooks,” Lozinski said. “It also includes things like laptops for scanning OCR.”

42% of organizations also experienced more than 5% of unauthorized access to SaaS applications and cloud resources stemming from incomplete deprovisioning.

“There is a number of ways to access an application, of which SSO is one,” Lozinski said. “Removal of those technologies requires an IT personal to go through and manually remove the individual. When you have hundreds or thousands of people being deprovisioned, access revoking policies become increasingly error prone, and many employees who leave still have access.”

Even if the organization employs more sophisticated identity and security tools they are still at risk.

“The issue is still that it is a siloed system even when there are more sophisticated identity platforms,” Lozinski said. “Many of our customers actually do run very advanced identity software. But they are not immune to that risk because it is a manual process.”

17% of medium and large organizations did not know the extent of unauthorized access stemming from incomplete deprovisioning of employees and contractors.

“Contractor access has gotten so much harder to access because of modern technologies,” Lozinski said. “It’s no longer a desktop plugged into a wall.”

Other data points from the study included a majority (48%) of respondents expressing deficiencies in or simply a lack of automated workflows across departments and IT tools to facilitate the secure offboarding of employees, while 47% expressed high confidence in their ability to do so.

Small and medium enterprises (between 1,000 and 10,00 employees) exhibited a greater likelihood (36%) of losing technology assets compared to larger organizations. These smaller organizations also seemed to have the most challenges (54%) with secure offboarding compared to larger organizations.

The worst asset reclamation rates were found in the technology, healthcare and manufacturing organizations, compared to other industries. Half of Healthcare organizations lost a significant number of company-owned assets (10%-20%) when offboarding employees and contractors.

All of this provides significant opportunities for partners, Lozinski stated.

“Many are seeing these key business process and want to drive automation for their customers,” he said. “They know how the key business processes should look – but the technology to do it hasn’t existed until now. They can now realize customer processes that are low code and easy to implement the first time.”