IT Service Management Named a Top Choice for Managing Identity in the Enterprise, but Email and Spreadsheets are Close Behind, New Research Finds

Inaugural Identity Management Survey Uncovers Industry Trends, Challenges, Technologies, and Tools Shaping Identity Governance and Security at Work

EMERYVILLE, Calif.--()--Clear Skye® Inc today announced the findings of their first-ever “Identity Management Survey,” exploring the state of identity governance and security in the enterprise. Conducted in partnership with research firm Gradient Flow, the survey questioned 500+ respondents from a variety of industries, a majority (62%) of which hold job functions in Information Technology (IT). The findings shed light on the tools, technologies, and practices defining identity at work.

The $13 billion identity management market is prime for growth, as cloud adoption, artificially intelligent software, and entry points for cyberattacks expand. But despite major strides in recent years, there are some identity practices that have failed to evolve. For example, email (50%) was cited as the most popular option for controlling permissions and entitlements among all respondents. Comparatively, respondents from large companies (55%) and those who held IT roles (54%) favored more sophisticated methods, such as IT Service Management (ITSM) or workforce management platforms.

“It’s encouraging that business leaders understand the value of connecting, automating, and streamlining identity throughout their organization, reflected by the popularity of ITSM and business platforms,” said John Milburn, CEO, Clear Skye. “But, manual, error-prone processes, like managing identities through email and spreadsheets, are at best ineffective and at worst harmful. This should be a wakeup call for modern businesses relying on archaic, insecure identity management processes.”

Other key findings include:

  • User Experience (UX) topped the list of challenges across most segments (49%). IT respondents cited UX (52%), cost (48%), and time to access or fulfillment (39%) as the top three challenges.
  • Over half of technical respondents indicated that they work with several vendors for identity governance, risk, compliance (GRC), single sign-on (SSO), privileged access management (PAM), and/or security operations (SecOps).
  • Despite this, 60% of technical respondents also indicated that they have integrated SecOps with their business processes, while 41% confirmed they have integrated GRC with their business processes.
  • 28% of IT respondents and 26% of respondents from large organizations reported using more than 10 SaaS or on-premises applications each week. As such, 45% of IT respondents and 41% of non-IT respondents expected a high productivity boost by using fewer applications or systems.
  • Respondents who work at small companies cited using Google’s platform and tools at a higher rate, compared to those at large companies using Microsoft 365. 35% of respondents from large companies reported using ServiceNow.
  • Two-thirds of survey respondents indicated that their company uses AI/ML to improve identity management, but less than a third of respondents indicated that AI/ML yield moderate to high benefits for identity management.

The research is clear: challenges with UX, outsourcing to multiple vendors for identity-related functions, and the use of too many business applications and systems are pain points for identity programs. However, many of these issues can be addressed through capabilities available through an organization’s existing ITSM/workforce management platform. For example, ServiceNow—which more than a third of respondents cited using—houses solutions that help users strategically align identity with their overall business operations.

To download the full report, visit: To learn more about Clear Skye, visit:

About Clear Skye

Clear Skye is the only identity security and governance solution built natively on ServiceNow. The company reimagines enterprise identity access and risk management by enabling organizations to use a familiar interface, provide deeper identity control and insight, and build a bridge between the business and IT. By reducing silos between functional areas like HR, IT, SecOps, and GRC, Clear Skye reduces friction, increases efficiency, and accelerates time-to-value. Global customers trust Clear Skye with their identity lifecycle management, governance, and security initiatives.

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Gina Devine
Director, Global Communications, Clear Skye


Gina Devine
Director, Global Communications, Clear Skye