SCIM or The System for Cross-domain Identity Management (SCIM) is a standard designed to easily manage user identity information present in cloud apps or services. SCIM provides a secure and standard method to exchange the user identity information between the identity providers and your cloud/SaaS applications.
How SCIM Works?
SCIM automates the process of Provisioning and Deprovisioning, it uses a standardized API through REST with data formatted in JSON or XML which defines the roles of client and server and allows seamless and secure communication of user identity data between them.
Usually a client is the identity Provider (IDP) where all the user information/identity is stored. SaaS/cloud applications act as Service Providers who need information from the identity provider.
Operations like ‘Create,’ ‘Update,’ and ‘Delete’ performed in the IDP (where user data is stored) are automatically synced with the SPs (SaaS applications like Salesforce, AWS, Zoom, etc) or any IDP can ‘Read’ the user information from the SP and add it to its directory.
This makes user data more secure and simplifies the process of user lifecycle management.
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Why use SCIM?
Managing user lifecycles in your organization is a fundamental business problem. An employee has to be given access to multiple tools such as HR application, CRMs, Development tools, etc which manually is a tedious process.
Also as the organization grows the number of employees/user accounts also increases. With that request to update user or modify user permissions or delete users becomes a time consuming task for your IT/HR team.
With SCIM you can automate the process of Provisioning/Deprovisioning which reduces the security risks.
Using SCIM the user identities are directly created to your IDP or are imported from external directories such as Active Directory or from any HR application where user identities are stored already.
By automating user identity flows and having one system to manage permissions you save a lot of valuable time for the IT department in your organization. Also it reduces the risk of human errors.
1. Automate provisioning/deprovisioning
Easy on-boarding and off-boarding of users which saves time and reduces IT cost. Also user data is stored in a consistent way and can be communicated as such across different apps
2. Increase Productivity
Enhance your team productivity by automating onboarding-offboarding of users & streamlining user lifecycle management across applications.
3. Strengthen Security
Improve security by assigning different permissions levels on a role-based basis with automated provisioning within SAAS applications.
The intent of using SCIM is to reduce the cost and complexity of user management operations by providing a common user schema to communicate user identities. In essence: make it fast, cheap, and easy to move users into, out of, and around the cloud.