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LikeMinds Consulting Inc

LikeMinds Consulting Inc

YOUR TRUSTED PARTNER TO SECURE AN INNOVATIVE DIGITAL IDENTITY

Be it creating, managing, or storing user identities and their attributes, alongside automating the management systems, IAM products never fail to prove their prowess. We wanted to bring you the profile of the best suited company that is well acclaimed for its integrity which serves as the pivotal factor of its senior leadership that drives its rate of success across the industry.

Owing to a steady commitment to ethical business practices, transparency, and accountability, it has been setting a higher bar for other brands to emulate. Yes, it is none other than LikeMinds Consulting that is a globally reckoned brand focused on offering highly effective IAM solutions to businesses.

In a freewheeling conversation with the founder and CEO of the company, Ramnath Krishnamurthi, we have explored various aspects of the company’s overall business model and to dive deeper into how they are making a mark across the targeted industry.

Company Overview

LikeMinds Consulting Inc

Prior to the inception of LikeMinds Consulting Inc. 18 years ago, the founder worked with IAM product companies and professional services firms between 2000 and 2005. It was a period when Identity and Access Management (IAM) was emerging.

Now with a well-defined background in IAM products and contributing to constituting IAM practices for professional services companies, he was pretty sure to establish the venture, focusing on providing professional services for Oracle Identity and Access Management. From 2005 to 2011, the company primarily operated as an Oracle IAM professional services company with a team of 8 members.

In 2012, they expanded into Managed Services and strategically collaborated with Ping Identity. Leveraging their IAM expertise, together with Ping Identity, they assisted Fortune 500 clients in transitioning from legacy web access management to modern IAM products like Ping Identity.

Later on, the company’s expansion continued with the opening of an Indian offshore office in 2014, Netherlands and Singapore offices in 2016, and a Dubai office in 2023. Having served over 200 customers, safeguarded millions of identities, and grown from an 8-person company to 70+ professionals worldwide, LikeMinds Consulting Inc. is on a steady growth path.

Mission and vision statement

Since its inception in 2005, the company has been committed to establishing a professional entity shaped by and for professionals. The core principle revolves around building a business grounded in relationships and trust, earned through extensive experience and dedicated effort. The shared mindset among professionals is driven by the aspiration to be visionaries in advancing the growth of clients’ security infrastructure.

The mission of the organization is to safeguard the digital identities and secure the access to digital assets for global customers which is achieved by implementing industryleading security solutions. So far, the organization has successfully protected millions of digital identities worldwide and continues to expand its impact.

Leveraging the automation tools

In the realm of modern IT operations, particularly in the context of Identity and Access Management (IAM) solutions, automation tools such as Ansible and HashiCorp Terraform play an enormous role. These tools are instrumental in streamlining IAM processes, mitigating human error, and ensuring consistency in the management of access to resources and data.

Ansible is perceived as a robust open-source automation tool, employing playbooks (declarative configuration files) to automate a spectrum of tasks, including those related to IAM. At LikeMinds, Ansible is utilized for diverse functions such as user and group management, auditing and compliance, and configuration management.

On the other hand when it comes to HashiCorp Terraform, it serves as an infrastructure as code (IaC) tool, enabling the definition and provisioning of infrastructure resources, including those pertinent to IAM, in a declarative manner. Terraform is employed by LikeMinds to provision IAM resources across various cloud platforms, facilitating the scalable adjustment of resources based on dynamic requirements in IAM automation environments.

Furthermore, LikeMinds extends DevOps Rent An Admin services, aiding customers in cloud engineering, cloud operations, and real-time monitoring of their cloud infrastructure. This comprehensive approach ensures efficient and dynamic IAM automation tailored to the evolving needs of clients.

Authenion – Secure Access Management solution for Oracle and Enterprise applications

An exclusively curated solution, “Authenion,” stands as a secure Access Management Solution, delivering a single signon (SSO) solution for Enterprise applications, including Oracle and various custom applications that support HTTP Headers for secure access and Single Sign On.

Mr Krishnamurthi explained that Authenion seamlessly integrates with market-standard OpenID Connect providers like PingFederate, PingOne, Azure, Okta, Oracle IDCS, and more, catering to authentication-related events (first mile integration) and ensuring secure access to applications for the last mile of Single Sign-On.

This solution facilitates secure access to both on-premises and cloud-based Enterprise and custom applications. Authenion is compatible with other industry-standard token providers via OAuth2.0 & OpenID Connect-2.0 protocols.

It smoothly integrates with Oracle Apex, Hyperion, Siebel, Demantra, Agile, Business Intelligence, and other applications, with plans to extend support to all Oracle enterprise applications in the near future. The integration follows Oracle’s recommended configurations for enabling SSO, replacing legacy implementations with Oracle Access Management solutions.

LikeMinds Consulting Inc

The Authenion EBS Integration kit, the flagship product of LikeMinds is quite a lightweight Java application that can be deployed in any standard J2EE application container, requiring minimal hardware. Authenion EIK is OpenID Connect compliant and seamlessly integrates with various IDPs, such as PingFederate, Azure, OKTA, PingOne, among others.

This modernized solution approach ensures a seamless integration of modern IAM into existing architectures, allowing a smooth migration from legacy IAM without disrupting critical access to enterprise applications.

It provides freedom from vendor lock-in with licensing, offering a comprehensive access management solution with low costs in terms of running, purchasing, licensing, support, etc. Authenion enhances user experience by reducing password resets and increasing security, ultimately resulting in a multifold improvement in the total cost of ownership.

The role of IAM: Leader’s viewpoint

LikeMinds Consulting IncIn the world of cybersecurity, Identity and Access Management (IAM) holds paramount importance that serves as a linchpin in guaranteeing that individuals are granted suitable access to digital resources while safeguarding these resources from unauthorized entry.

In a collaborative effort established by the venture that extends to prominent IAM product companies such as Ping Identity , iProov and 1Kosmos, they aim to deliver a comprehensive framework that effectively controls and secures user access to digital resources, thereby mitigating the risks associated with unauthorized access, data breaches, and insider threats. The IAM solutions provided by the organization offer clients adept management of digital identities and access through various strategies:

1. Implementing strong authentication as advanced as Multi Factor Authentication (MFA), Biometric, passwordless authentication, smart card etc to ensure that only authorization users gain access to the client’s digital assets.

2. Enforcing granular authorization and access control to prevent users from accessing sensitive information or performing actions beyond their job responsibilities.

3. User Lifecycle Management by automation of provisioning and de provisioning of user accounts, managing changes to access rights as users change roles or responsibilities. Automating these processes helps reduce the risk of orphaned or unauthorized accounts.

4. Implementing Single Sign-On to allow users to access multiple applications and services with a single set of credentials. This not only improves user experience but also reduces the risk associated with password fatigue and simplifies password management for both users and administrators.

5. Identity Federation to allow users to access resources across multiple domains or organizations using their own identities. This is particularly useful in scenarios where collaboration and resource sharing are common, such as in cloud environments or partnerships.

6. Security Policy Enforcement: IAM systems enforce security policies consistently across an organization. These policies can include password complexity rules, session timeout settings, and access control policies. By ensuring compliance with security policies, our IAM solution helps reduce the attack surface and strengthen overall security.

7. Password Management to enhance security by reducing the likelihood of weak passwords and the need for users to write down or share their passwords.

8. Risk-Based authentication to assess the level of risk associated with a user’s access attempt. Based on factors like device type, location, and behavior, enforcing requires additional authentication steps for highrisk access attempts, adding an extra layer of security.

Legacy IAM products

LikeMinds Consulting Inc

In addressing the limitations of legacy Identity and Access Management (IAM) systems, the organization recognizes that many of these systems were originally designed for onpremises users accessing on-premises applications.

However, they often fall short when it comes to supporting mobile apps, Single Page Apps (SPAs), cloud-based SaaS apps, and APIs due to their lack of adherence to open standards. The proprietary encryption mechanisms employed by legacy Web Access Management (WAM) vendors pose challenges in transitioning away from their systems.

The escalating costs associated with upgrading and maintaining legacy IAM systems, compounded by the difficulties in supporting end-of-life products, necessitate a strategic approach to migration. Migrating from legacy WAM systems to modern solutions, such as the Ping Identity suite, requires expertise and a well-defined process. Given the gradual development of WAM systems over many years, overnight or weekend migrations are impractical. The typical legacy WAM migration involves a phased approach, incorporating co-existing scenarios.

The organization follows a meticulous 3-phased approach for migrating legacy WAM systems to modern products. In the initial phase, a parallel infrastructure is established, migration patterns are defined, and new applications are onboarded in multiple waves or sprints, following an Agile methodology.

The second phase involves the refactoring of legacy custom apps into new integration patterns, utilizing application on-boarding/migration templates. This phase emphasizes sprints, smaller milestones, faster rollouts, and the gradual reduction of manual onboarding to self-service (from 100% manual to 30%).

During the final phase of the migration, the organization integrates Apps on-boarding into the well-established IAM Program. This involves building one-touch automation for faster and easier deployment using DevOps principles, providing a comprehensive and efficient solution for the migration from legacy WAM systems to modern IAM products.

Scaling the ladder

As per the founding head, their solutions and services cater to esteemed cloud service providers (CSPs) such as AWS, Azure, and GCP platforms. They fully utilize a broad spectrum of IAM capabilities as they rigorously enforces identity and access management policies. This includes the implementation of multi-factor authentication (MFA), role-based access control (RBAC), and fine-grained permissions to regulate access to cloud resources.

A robust security posture is maintained by ensuring data encryption both in transit and at rest. This involves using TLS/SSL for data in transit and encryption services like AWS KMS, Azure Key Vault, or Google Cloud KMS for data at rest. Regular auditing and monitoring procedures are in place, complemented by the establishment of alerts for suspicious activities or deviations from security policies.

To optimize resource utilization, the organization employs autoscaling, allowing for automatic adjustments to resource capacity based on demand. Scaling policies are configured to handle traffic spikes efficiently and reduce costs during periods of low demand.

The implementation of load balancers ensures the even distribution of incoming traffic across multiple instances, guaranteeing high availability and scalability. Additionally, employee training programs make sure that security best practices are up to the mark, including the judicious use of cloud resources and awareness of the associated risks in cloud computing.

Getting an edge over their peers

LikeMinds Consulting Inc

The organization has eschewed external investors and has sustained itself through continuous self-investment for over 18 years now. With a purpose-driven zeal, prioritizing substance over mere size, and boasting a well-defined training process integral to employee onboarding and technical enablement.

The loyalty of its customer base is evident in the fact that all clients are repeat customers, with some maintaining associations since 2007. Adopting a proactive stance towards innovation, the organization employs diverse strategies to stay at the forefront of a dynamically evolving market.

Continuous learning and training are emphasized, supported by dedicated programs to equip employees with the skills necessary for cuttingedge technologies. The company actively engages in research and development, experimenting with new technologies and products within the IAM market space, seeking applicability to client projects.

Collaboration forms a cornerstone of the innovative culture, the company encourages employees to experiment with new tools and take calculated risks, resulting in breakthrough innovations. This innovative spirit has led to the development of proprietary solution accelerators that are now marketed globally.

Recognizing CSR

In its commitment to sustainability and corporate social responsibility (CSR), the organization integrates responsible practices across their operations, products, and services. Adopting Green IT practices, the company employs energy-efficient servers, virtualization, and optimized cooling systems in both offices and corporate data centers. They collaborate with responsible e-waste recycling vendors to ensure proper disposal and recycling of electronic waste (e-waste).

The promotion of telecommuting and remote work options underscores the organization’s dedication to reducing the need for commuting and office space, thereby contributing to a decrease in carbon emissions. Furthermore, they uphold IT solutions that prioritize data privacy and security, aligning with ethical principles and regulatory compliance.

Moreover, there is a great focus on cybersecurity and data protection serves to safeguard client and user data, reflecting a steadfast commitment to responsible IT practices. The organization actively promotes diversity and inclusion within the workplace, fostering a more equitable and inclusive environment.

Initiatives supporting employee well-being, such as work-life balance and professional development opportunities, have been implemented. Owing to these initiatives, the organization not only reduces its environmental impact but also contributes to a more ethical, inclusive, and sustainable future for employees, clients, and the communities which is commendable indeed.

The futuristic roadmap

For the next 5 years, the company envisions itself as an unparalleled leader in the industry, poised to establish new benchmarks and drive transformative change. The overarching vision is to cultivate a world where innovation knows no bounds, sustainability is an inherent consideration in every decision, and human potential is fully unleashed. Beyond being merely a company, it aspires to be a catalyst for progress and a beacon of inspiration.

It extends to pushing the boundaries of what is deemed possible, with a relentless pursuit of innovation permeating every facet of the business. The solutions offered are anticipated to redefine industries, addressing intricate challenges with a blend of creativity and cutting-edge technology.

Also, he states that foreseeing the company as a talent magnet, they aim to bring onboard the brightest minds and nurture a culture of continuous learning and growth. Additionally, employees will be empowered to unleash their full potential, playing a pivotal role in shaping their careers and the future.

For the years ahead, the senior leadership would be cultivating deep partnerships and collaborations with like-minded organizations that are integral to creating a robust ecosystem of shared knowledge and resources aimed at addressing the world’s most pressing challenges.

The company aspires to be synonymous with exceptional customer experiences, ensuring that every interaction with the brand becomes a testament to the dedication to customer satisfaction and success. The journey toward becoming the undisputed leader is viewed not merely as a destination but as a continuous pursuit of excellence, guided by an unwavering commitment to the envisioned future.

A motivating ending note by the dynamo

It has been 18+ years since I started LikeMinds Consulting in July 2005. In these 18 years , every day is a new learning. Especially when someone starts as a solopreneur, he/she has to do everything, right from generating the revenue, learning and running payrolls, understanding the tax guidelines, bit of accounting etc.

Lots of reading on Dummies books like Accounting for Dummies, self-help management books from Peter Drucker etc. One should not let self-doubt overcome self-confidence, which is the key. Never start your entrepreneurial journey with a backup plan. It has to be a full time job with absolutely no back up plan.

Otherwise you are not giving 100%. It is lonely at the top , no matter how many people work for you. Work Life balance is a word only you hear. Your professional life will consume 100% of your time. There is no instant gratification. It is a marathon running like a sprint.

The best way to stay ahead of the competition is to keep learning the new industry trends. Stay relevant to the market you are serving. No matter what is your offering, at the end of the day we all touch human life. So we need to keep that in mind. There is nothing called failure. Everything is learning.

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