17th March, 2022
TABLE OF CONTENTS
With all the modern businesses on the cloud, SaaS license management paired with identity, access, and user management is important. Adding RBAC to the mix, everything becomes much more robust.
Role-Based Access Control (RBAC) is an authorization system that limits systems and data access based on an individual’s role within a particular organization. This role is aligned with user seniority and the department in the organization.
You can restrict users' access via two types of authorization: data authorization and feature authorization. Data authorization allows you to give users access to features of an application while facing restrictions on what data they can operate (accessed, created, deleted, and modified).
On the contrary, feature authorization limits the user's access to a particular set of features within an application.
RBAC functions on the security principle of least privilege. The term “least privilege” means that an individual user only has just enough permission required to accomplish their job. The user should have the minimum privilege to use the applications and know the status of the jobs, create, delete or modify new files, print files, etc.
With all the modern businesses on the cloud, SaaS license management paired with identity, access, and user management is important. Adding RBAC to the mix, everything becomes much more robust.
Since the key idea behind RBAC is to regulate who can access and use resources and who can not, organizations rely on authorization and authentication based on log-in credentials. This reduces the risk associated with malicious users.
Roles within an organization can be assigned to team members based on their functions, seniority, and department. Let us now explore the types of roles under RBAC along with the level of authorization they have:
Analysts- Analysts have access to all the data to make their reports and find insights. However, they can't perform any actions inside the apps.
User- The user's role is to use the product to perform their core job. They can perform the basic functions but aren't authorized to make organization-wide changes or access any financial details.
Billing admin- The billing admin has access to the financial details and can manage team payments and plans. However, the individual does not have visibility into any of the team elements and can't perform any tasks or add or remove users from an app.
IT System Admin- The IT admin has access to all the details of the corporate and users' info. The admin can manage groups, team settings, and team members altogether. They can give or revoke access to apps to other users.
Super admin- They have access to all the data, features and can make all the possible changes in an app. The role can perform all actions that billing, admin, community manager, and developer roles can do. The super admin can manage anything and almost everything within a team, including team settings, groups, members, and resources, to name a few. They can also perform all the actions on each of the public, team, or private workspaces and the elements they have within the team.
The benefits of using the RBAC model for user access control are numerous. From the security to the flexibility point of view, each of the following benefits calls for RBAC adoption.
You can improve overall security due to its relation to compliance, privacy, access management, and confidentiality, including other systems and sensitive data.
Fosters separation of duties. This concept does not give sole control over a particular task. The separation of duties shields organizations as cyberattacks on one account will not cause much harm to systems.
Provides granular control of the user or device access to help control, monitor, and manage applications easily.
Fosters flexibility in an organization as IT teams can review and adjust permission related to particular roles periodically.
Nonetheless, RBAC is not free of challenges. The implementation process can be quite demanding, wherein any wrong step can lead to problems. Let us see what some of these challenges can be:
There is a risk of role explosion due to the granularity required for the access control. This can lead to complications of the access control, reducing the effectiveness of access control.
Another challenge is security risk tolerance. Whenever your organization is quite reactive to security risks, RBAC is not the best way of securing access to data, processes, and systems.
Sometimes, RBAC does not scale really well for modeling security policies within organizations. Through a robust identity and access management (IAM) working towards implementing RBAC, large-scale use of the same can be forged.
Build, understand and maintain an inventory of your software apps, devices, etc. - One of the initial steps in a good implementation of RBAC is to create a detailed list of all the servers, programs, documents, files, and records that exist in your organization.
Set roles and responsibilities - You must carefully plan to find out what each member does and subsequently have access to. You also need to do this for non-employees like consultants, advisors, or third-party vendors who will access your systems, SaaS apps, data, etc.
Integrate the system with ITSM- You must have an integrated system for timely support. Also, have a process for collecting employees' feedback regarding the adaptation of software and subsequent improvement.
Stay put until your entire IAM program is mature - Implementation of RBAC very early in the IAM program can lead to greater chances of failure. RBAC might not necessarily require an IAM system. Although, RBAC can be implemented quite easily and efficiently if the system is in place.
Assigning a role owner to portray each region from the business end - Identifying the people who have the best “insider knowledge” about the departments and giving them the role of the owners.
Along with this, prepare a team of experienced business analysts and engineers who have good experience in interviewing IT staff and business owners in the RBAC program.
There are other access control mechanisms that can serve as an alternative to RBAC. Let us see how these are different from RBAC.
ACL vs. RBAC: ACL (Access Control List) is a table enlisting the authorizations associated with computing resources. It informs the OS which users can access an object and the actions that can be carried out.
RBAC is better than ACL for security and administrative overhead for a major chunk of business applications. However, ACL is more suitable for implementing security at the singular user level and low-level data.
On the other hand, RBAC fosters a company-wide security system with an overseeing administrator. For instance, ACL can give write access to a particular file, but it cannot tell how a user can change the file.
ABAC vs. RBAC: ABAC assesses a set of rules and policies meant to manage certain access rights based on certain attributes like environmental, object, system, and user information.
RBAC generally depends on pre-defined roles, and ABAC is far more robust and uses relation-based access control. With the help of RBAC, you can find out access controls with broad strokes; meanwhile, ABAC gives more granularity.
PBAC vs. RBAC: PBAC, also called Permission-Based Access Control, offers the flexibility to be fine-grained and coarse-grained. The same is not wholly possible with RBAC. PBAC supports both environmental and contextual controls, enabling the policies to grant access to resources at particular times and from set locations.
PBAC also offers transparency and visibility, helping visualize the relationship between the resources and the identities. This is the initial step in setting a robust access management policy.
With this explosion of SaaS at companies, there arise SaaS challenges caused by apps getting out of your control. These SaaS challenges varies in three dimension: spend management, security and complance risks, and various SaaS operations tasks like automating SaaS procurments, renewals, employees onboarding and offboarding.
‘Muda’ is used to describe any activity that uses resources but doesn't generate value. It is the Toyota system for identifying and eliminating waste in all forms. It is the same thing that helps Toyota sell more cars than Ford, General Motors, and Honda at a higher margin.
An obese SaaS stack leads to SaaS wastage. It's a disease! It not only causes financial issues but also gives you security and compliance problems. That's why you must keep tight control on your SaaS stack. And it begins with managing your SaaS vendors.
In this post, we've discussed 7 symptoms of an unoptimized SaaS stack and solutions to optimize the same.
When an organization has a large number of SaaS applications in its SaaS stack, it gives rise to SaaS Sprawl.
IT teams must equip themselves with the latest skills and knowledge and keep an eye on the latest technology updates and releases.
Today, the adoption of digital transformation is imperative for every business to survive and thrive in a highly competitive marketplace. Business benefits of digital transformation include higher enterprise-wide productivity and efficiency, enhanced user experience, in-depth and accurate insights, faster and better business decisions, and improved agility and innovation, resulting in increased business revenue and sustainability. We have got the 20 best books that can help you accelerate your digital transformation journey. Let's dive right in. 20 Best Books for Digital Transformation Adoption and Acceleration 1. Digital Transformation Playbook: Rethink Your Business for the Digital Age by David L. Rogers 2. Digital Transformation: Survive and Thrive in an Era of Mass Extinction by Thomas M. Siebel 3. Agile IT Organization Design: For Digital Transformation and Continuous Delivery by Sriram Narayan 4. The Technology Fallacy: How People Are the Real Key to Digital Transformation by Gerald C. Kane, Anh Nguyen Phillips, Jonathan Copulsky, Garth Andrus, Paul Michelman (Editor) 5. Building the Agile Business Through Digital Transformation: How to Lead Digital Transformation in Your Workplace by Neil Perkin (Goodreads Author), Peter Abraham (Goodreads Author) (Co-author) 6. Digital Transformation at Scale: Why the Strategy Is Delivery by Andrew Greenway, Ben Terrett, Mike Bracken, Tom Loosemore 7. AI Superpowers: China, Silicon Valley, and the New World Order by Kai-Fu Lee 8. Clearing the Digital BLUR: How Organizations Can Transform Themselves At the Speed of Digital by Rajiv Jayaraman 9. Platform Scale: How an emerging business model helps startups build large empires with minimum investment by Sangeet Paul Choudary 10. Platform Revolution: How Networked Markets Are Transforming the Economy--and How to Make Them Work for You by Geoffrey G. Parker, Marshall W. Van Alstyne, Sangeet Paul Choudary 11. Modern Monopolies: What It Takes to Dominate the 21st Century Economy by Alex Moazed, Nicholas L. Johnson 12. Edge: Value-Driven Digital Transformation by Jim Highsmith, Linda Luu, David Robinson 13. IT Strategy: A 3-Dimensional Framework to Plan Your Digital Transformation and Deliver Value to Your Enterprise by Jim Maholic 14. 77 Building Blocks of Digital Transformation: The Digital Capability Model by Jace An 15. Mastering Digital Business: How powerful combinations of disruptive technologies are enabling the next wave of digital transformation by Nicholas D. Evans 16. The Digital Matrix: New Rules for Business Transformation Through Technology by Venkat Venkatraman 17. Agile Transformation: Structures, Processes, and Mindsets for the Digital Age by Neil Perkin 18. The Transformation Files: 17 Insights to Inspire Managers and Leaders in the Transformation of a Digital Economy Business by Rob Llewellyn 19. The Future Is Faster Than You Think: How Converging Technologies Are Transforming Business, Industries, and Our Lives by Peter H. Diamandis, Steven Kotler 20. The Industries of the Future by Alec J. Ross Conclusion 1. Digital Transformation Playbook: Rethink Your Business for the Digital Age by David L. Rogers Rogers explores digital transformation phenomena and what distinguishes organizations that successfully adapt and thrive in the digital world. With a decade of experience in global business consulting and teaching at Columbia Business School, Rogers explains how established companies can refresh their game plans to capture new opportunities in the digital world. Pick this book for: The book focuses on practical tools and strategies for all businesses, big and small, across all industries, useful in decision making and strategy formulation. It contains case studies for a detailed illustration of concepts. The Digital Transformation Playbook is an indispensable guide for executives that explains how legacy businesses can transform to thrive in the digital era. Goodreads Rating: 4.15/5 (522 ratings) 2. Digital Transformation: Survive and Thrive in an Era of Mass Extinction by Thomas M. Siebel In his book, Tom Siebel provides much-needed clarity on digital transformation. The book talks about the convergence of four significant technology forces – big data, cloud computing, Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things, and how they have revolutionized businesses in private and public sectors. In his book, Tom illustrates the real-life digital transformation case studies at Caterpillar, 3M, U.S. Air Force, and Royal Dutch Shell and explains how top executives in an enterprise can successfully drive digital transformation. Pick this book for: Besides helping his readers understand digital transformation, Tom offers actionable advice and concrete guidance for a successful digital transformation adoption. Goodreads Rating: 4.04/5 (300 ratings) 3. Agile IT Organization Design: For Digital Transformation and Continuous Delivery by Sriram Narayan In the book, Sriram Narayan explores organizational design by IT leadership for IT organizations. He leverages his industry experience, existing literature on organizational design, and well-regarded work on a team and individual psychology to synthesize an Agile IT organizational design that could benefit the enterprise IT. The book is a framework and standards agnostic and discusses problems, explores reasons, and provides solutions. The book is for top-level executives and IT governance group members for medium to large IT organizations that face business and IT agility challenges. Pick this book for: Sriram has used real-life examples to help you evaluate and enhance enterprise designs to improve mastery, autonomy, and purpose. Goodreads Rating: 4.07/5 (153 ratings) 4. The Technology Fallacy: How People Are the Real Key to Digital Transformation by Gerald C. Kane, Anh Nguyen Phillips, Jonathan Copulsky, Garth Andrus, Paul Michelman (Editor) The book explains why an organization should focus more on processes and people than on technology to respond to digital disruption. The authors leverage their four years of research in partnership with MIT Sloan Management Review and Deloitte, interviews with managers in organizations, including Google, Walmart, Salesforce, and surveying 16,000+ people. They argue that businesses can successfully respond to digital disruption by changing the organizational culture to be more risk-tolerant, agile, and experimental. Pick this book for: The book guides business leaders and managers to survive digital disruptions by making organizational changes to harness technology’s power. Goodreads Rating: 4.17/5 (137 ratings) 5. Building the Agile Business Through Digital Transformation: How to Lead Digital Transformation in Your Workplace by Neil Perkin (Goodreads Author), Peter Abraham (Goodreads Author) (Co-author) The book guides the change managers and enterprise development professionals to understand, implement, and learn the workplace digital transformation. By setting aside the outdated strategies and traditional thinking, the book focuses on creating enterprise velocity, removing unnecessary processes, establishing iterative working, mapping strategy to motivation, embed innovation, and developing talent to succeed. Pick this book for: The book efficiently delivers information to audiences of varied experiences and levels. It offers real-world case studies coupled with practical advice with more technical and academic knowledge and serves as an essential guide to building an agile organization. Goodreads Rating: 4.32/5 (56 ratings) 6. Digital Transformation at Scale: Why the Strategy Is Delivery by Andrew Greenway, Ben Terrett, Mike Bracken, Tom Loosemore ‘Digital Transformation at Scale’ guides the readers on how to build a digital institution. It explains how reformers in governments and businesses have globally enabled their enterprises' pivot to this noble way of working, with the lessons learned from their experience. Pick this book for: The authors leverage their experience in designing and delivering the UK government's successful ‘Government Digital Service' (GDS), the new institution responsible for the digital transformation of government, creating public services for the internet era. Besides snipping GBP4 billion off the government's technology bill, GDS opened up public sector contracts to thousands of new suppliers and became tremendously popular among citizens with its superior-quality online services without a big marketing campaign. Private sector companies and other countries notified the GDS model’s success, and it's now being copied across the world. Goodreads Rating: 4.27/5 (81 ratings) 7. AI Superpowers: China, Silicon Valley, and the New World Order by Kai-Fu Lee In ‘AI Superpowers,’ Dr. Kai-Fu Lee reveals that China has rapidly caught up with the US at an astonishing speed. According to Lee, Chinese and American AI will significantly impact white-collar jobs besides having a devastating effect on the blue-collared jobs as predicted by most experts. Lee claims that these unprecedented AI developments lead to dramatic changes much sooner than expected. Pick this book for: He further explains the jobs that will be affected and those that can be enhanced with AI and discusses how we can offer solutions to some of the most significant changes in human history. Goodreads Rating: 4.16/5 (8,422 ratings) 8. Clearing the Digital BLUR: How Organizations Can Transform Themselves At the Speed of Digital by Rajiv Jayaraman The new breed of competitors like Google, Facebook, Amazon, and Alibaba are disrupting the industries using innovative strategies beyond the understanding of most seasoned enterprises. The book helps you understand how these digital-born enterprises perceive the world around them. Besides helping you transform your organization to compete in today's digital rat-race, the book explains how to thrive in the digital age. Pick this book for: Tackling the digital challenge calls for a fresh perspective compared to the industrial age management playbooks. ‘Clearing the digital BLUR’ serves as a guidebook for managers and leaders to accelerate digital adoption, backed by a modern strategy, leadership, execution, and culture. It offers a holistic approach to digital transformation through practical insights in actionable frameworks, case studies, worksheets, and leaders’ interviews. Goodreads Rating: 4.33/5 (12 ratings) 9. Platform Scale: How an emerging business model helps startups build large empires with minimum investment by Sangeet Paul Choudary Contrary to selling a product or service, today’s massive scaling startups build a platform for others to create and exchange value. Some of the examples are social media, the Internet of Things, cryptocurrency, and more. Yet, most platform ideas fail due to a lack of proper understanding of the business design and growth strategies. Pick this book for: Platform Scale not only writes down a structured approach to designing and scaling a platform business model, but it also addresses the key aspects that can succeed or fail businesses through six core concepts. Goodreads Rating: 4.23/5 (415 ratings) 10. Platform Revolution: How Networked Markets Are Transforming the Economy--and How to Make Them Work for You by Geoffrey G. Parker, Marshall W. Van Alstyne, Sangeet Paul Choudary Fact-based, authoritative, ‘Platform Revolution’ is the first of its kind of “owner’s manual” for successfully creating a platform business model. It explains various ways for newbies to identify prime markets and monetize the network. It reveals strategies behind the upcoming business platforms to current business leaders and explains how traditional organizations can adapt to the change. Pick this book for: Besides discussing regulation, security, and consumer trust and examining markets that may be mature for a platform revolution, the book explains the bright prospect of platforms. It shows how they will change the careers and lives of millions forever. Goodreads Rating: 4.13/5 (2,845 ratings) 11. Modern Monopolies: What It Takes to Dominate the 21st Century Economy by Alex Moazed, Nicholas L. Johnson Platforms like Google, Amazon, Snapchat are game-changers. Rather than making things, these platforms create value by connecting people and dominating everyone’s daily lives worldwide. Mobile computing has transformed how we interact and blend the physical and digital worlds. While these enterprises are expanding their influence from the digital world to the entire economy, just a few individuals genuinely grasp this radical structural shift. Pick this book for: In ‘Modern Monopoly,’ the authors explain what has changed, how it affects today’s organizations, and how business owners, entrepreneurs, and managers can adapt and succeed in the new era. Goodreads Rating: 4.08/5 (585 ratings) 12. Edge: Value-Driven Digital Transformation by Jim Highsmith, Linda Luu, David Robinson In ‘Edge,’ the authors talk about the fast, adaptive, value-driven, iterative, lightweight, and powerful new operating model that helps achieve continuous innovation by closing the gap between digital strategy and execution. ‘Edge’ addresses three critical aspects, i.e., working together among the criticality of vital and rapid responses, allocation and tracking business investment funds for their goal and vision-based initiatives, and ways of rapid adaptation to thrive Agile. Pick this book for: The book delivers practical insights leveraging its authors’ unparalleled experience and pioneering clients. Goodreads Rating: 4.38/5 (42 ratings) 13. IT Strategy: A 3-Dimensional Framework to Plan Your Digital Transformation and Deliver Value to Your Enterprise by Jim Maholic With over a dozen IT executives and CIOs’ interviews, the book lays out the process from a blank whiteboard to an all-inclusive IT Strategy. ‘IT Strategy’ illustrates a range of technical and non-technical topics to facilitate readers to devise a road map to their desired future state and repeatedly emphasize the alignment of IT Strategic Planning with central business key performance measures and strategic business planning. Pick this book for: With 25+ years of IT Strategist stint, Jim Maholic has consulted with many reputed and largest enterprises in North and South America. He leverages his expertise to deliver a notably thorough and consistently precise guide in ‘IT Strategy.’ Goodreads Rating: 4.86/5 (7 ratings) 14. 77 Building Blocks of Digital Transformation by Jace An ’77 Building Blocks of Digital Transformation’ is a practical field book that explains the proven digital capabilities as the fundamental digital transformation blocks. It discusses the approach to assessing and enhancing digital capabilities for achieving successful digital transformation and is ideal for digital practitioners such as IT professionals, sales reps, marketers, digital planners, and digital consultants. The book consists of 12 mega capabilities (set of capabilities) and 77 capabilities. Pick this book for: The book serves as a ready-made yet highly customizable solution for those organizations that find it challenging to establish a robust and agile framework for their digital operations. Goodreads Rating: 4.83/5 (6 ratings) 15. Mastering Digital Business: How powerful combinations of disruptive technologies are enabling the next wave of digital transformation by Nicholas D. Evans ‘Mastering Digital Business’ serves as a strategic guide for IT and business executives. Today, mobile, cloud, intelligent automation, IoT, social, analytics, wearables, and robotics are some of the most disruptive technologies. Pick this book for: The author talks about how we can leverage these technology combinations and mastery in digital services, platform business models, and leading practices in corporate innovation to create and execute our digital strategies for competitive advantage. Goodreads Rating: 4.21/5 (14 ratings) 16. The Digital Matrix: New Rules for Business Transformation Through Technology by Venkat Venkatraman The book helps its readers understand the types of players forming the new business landscape, the transformations that every business will experience, and the winning moves to ensure your organization’s success. Pick this book for: It helps you learn to navigate the digital ecosystem world, discover how you can compete and collaborate with other organizations for creating and capturing value, realize how robust machines can maximize your organization’s human talent, and learn to assemble the team to experiment with new ideas, reassess your core beliefs, and reinvent your business strategy for the digital future. It explains how to rethink your business model, assemble the right team, and make bold strategic choices to harness digital technology. Goodreads Rating: 4.21/5 (14 ratings) 17. Agile Transformation: Structures, Processes, and Mindsets for the Digital Age by Neil Perkin ‘Agile Transformation’ offers practical advice and covers everything, including the need for new operating models, ways to apply agile principles at scale, how to leverage digital-native processes, and why change managers should think big but start small. Pick this book for: It discusses tackling the staff mindset that can hinder agile adoption, create and engage high-performing teams for change, and why a plan of starting an agile business need not fail. Featuring case studies from organizations including Amazon, Netflix, and Vodafone, this book is vital for businesses to compete in the new world of work effectively. Goodreads Rating: 4.5/5 (12 ratings) 18. The Transformation Files: 17 Insights to Inspire Managers and Leaders in the Transformation of a Digital Economy Business by Rob Llewellyn ‘The Transformation Files’ is a collection of critical success factors that every leader should focus on during digital transformation adoption. Rob leverages his two decades of experience in 30+ countries to help some globally renowned firms generate commercial value from people. Pick this book for: This knowledgeable and easy to read book is backed by relevant work experience and offers practicality to start applying the guidelines and insights immediately. Goodreads Rating: 4.33/5 (6 ratings) 19. The Future Is Faster Than You Think: How Converging Technologies Are Transforming Business, Industries, and Our Lives by Peter H. Diamandis, Steven Kotler ‘The Future is Faster than You think’ investigates the impact of rapid technology acceleration on both our society and daily life. The book offers a prescient look at our impending future. Pick this book for: The book explores the convergence of digital technologies and their revolutionizing impact on today's legacy industries and their impact on our daily activities such as governing our nation, raising kids, or caring for our planet. Goodreads Rating: 4.33/5 (6 ratings) 20. The Industries of the Future by Alec J. Ross In the book, Ross distills his observations on the forces that are changing the world. Backed by nearly a million miles of travel to forty-one countries as Hillary Clinton's Senior Advisor for Innovation, Ross emphasizes the best opportunities for progress and discusses how countries thrive or sputter. Pick this book for: The book explains the ways we will need to adapt. Ross offers a vivid and informed perspective on how sweeping global trends affect how we live in today and the future. Ross examines the particular fields that will form our economic future over the next decade, including the impact of digital technology, robotics, the commercialization of genomics, artificial intelligence, and cybercrime. Goodreads Rating: 4.04/5 (6,868 ratings) Conclusion The above books discuss how digital transformation has affected practically every industry and every aspect of a business. They provide multifaceted solutions that offer insights on innovation and agility, helping companies achieve increased revenue and much-needed sustainability in today’s competitive marketplace. Do you have more book recommendations to add? Feel free to drop in a message and we will review it.
Choosing the right SaaS tool can be challenging as there are many tools out there in the market for every need, and based on your requirements and preferences, you have to see which is best for you.