Transforming Our Professional Services


Identity and Access Services (IAS) Project

We have developed a plan to improve identity management and access for all UCL services and have put together a business case for future consideration.

What is the IAS Project?

At UCL, the function that manages our access to UCL systems and data is known as ‘Identity and Access Services’ (IAS). The aim of an IAS function is to provide the right levels of access to systems and data, to the right people and have oversight of who has access to which IT services, resources and data.

Historically, core identity and access services at UCL have not been built around the needs of the UCL community and have grown organically around business services. Often this means there is a duplication of similar capabilities inside each application or set of service processes. 

The IAS project was set up to simplify and automate a number of processes related to identity and access management with the aim of:

  • Making it easier for all UCL staff and students to request and gain access to key UCL systems.
  • Making it easier for resource owners to manage access
  • Delivering improved security assurance through better access to data and tools to help control permissions

Project progress and next steps

During the first part of 2020, the project worked with our implementation partners to carry out a discovery phase. During this time we explored a number of commercial options that could help us improve access management, investigated the potential benefits of the project, and produced a final report detailing our key findings and requirements. 

After completing the discovery phase in March, we used our findings to develop a business case for the implementation stage of the project. Following the outbreak of the coronavirus, the decision was made to pause the project after considering the time and investment required to complete it. 

With the increase in staff working remotely, our dependence on IT systems and resources is greater than ever. Our IT services need to be simple to use and easy to access and available from any location, on any device, at any time. Improving our identity and access management could deliver a range of benefits for the whole UCL community including: 

  • Improved management information and planning capabilities.
  • Ability to report on how many identities are currently allowed to access resources (space, people, licensing and other resource planning).
  • GDPR and ISO27001 compliance. 
  • Access policies to enforce user access security and regulatory compliance.
  • The capability to report on access on a: per service, per group and per individual basis.

While the project has now been put on hold, our learnings from the discovery phase have informed a detailed business case that is ready for consideration should the project be revisited in the future.