Identropy Staff Spotlight: Elaine Van Horn
This month, we’re happy to highlight SailPoint Engineer, Elaine Van Horn. Elaine came to Identropy in early 2016 after many years in IT. Originally, she was in the casino gaming world until she moved into finance and banking.
She’s worked with a number of systems and platforms as a programmer and analyst. She began working with the SailPoint products in 2010 and hasn’t looked back since.
Elaine will admit that she loves the Identity and Access Management (IAM) world, even with its challenges and nuances. Her motto is “work hard, play hard,” and below you’ll find that she has some great experience, tips and interesting facts to share.
When did you join Identropy?
January of 2016
What is your day-to-day role?
Staff Augmentation for a hedge fund company, which essentially means I do whatever is needed that day. We have gone through an initial implementation and now working on various Active Directory clean up activities including group and service account management through SailPoint IdentityIQ, along with Joiner, Mover and Leaver workflows. My day-to-day could be working through any break-fixes or edge cases that come up, or it could be working on enhancements to the various work streams.
What skills do you need for your role?
It’s important to have the ability to…
- listen and hear what the end-users really need and what security/management would like to have, and then come up with a solution that covers the critical pieces and as many other nice-to-haves as possible.
- work through sticking points and educate people at various levels of the organization to ensure fact-based decisions are made.
- code solutions that will handle immediate requirements of today and also are set up to easily be updated or work with future changes that are known to be coming.
- troubleshoot without direct visibility in an environment – knowing how to ask a handful of questions that someone else can easily understand and get answers, and then deduce the underlying issue based on those questions.
There are times were I cannot go back-and-forth with information gathering when there is a production issue, and the ability to ask a couple specific and focused questions to then give a probable cause is a requirement to avoid frustration and lost time.
What’s the most rewarding part of your job?
Hearing from end-users that the processes put in place make sense, are easy to use, and help their day-to-day work. Knowing that these new processes and structures are both making end-users’ lives easier and ultimately making a much more stable and secure environment, with regulatory and audit information easy to understand and provide when necessary.
And the most challenging?
Working in a truly Agile environment where the requirements discussed on Monday may change by Friday, and having to try to anticipate where the final product/decision is most likely to be, because development must continue through the week while these requirement changes/conversations are going on.
What is your proudest moment / memory at Identropy?
When we were recognized as SailPoint’s Rookie Partner of the Year at their annual Navigate conference last year. Being there at our booth and knowing we had received that honor was a proud moment.
What is your top tip for those looking to implement an IAM program?
Have management buy-in of some sort, and be prepared for ramp-up time where management will need to be educated (sometimes without seeming like there is education going on). Be prepared for end-user resistance, as any amount of change is hard for a group of people, and have clear communication to your end-users prior to any change, so they aren’t startled.
What superhero do you most identify with and why?
I don’t. I’m not a super hero, I just do what I do and what needs to be done. However, I identify most with Deadpool because I do unconventional things and think outside the box to get the job done, and don’t mince words or play games.
Favorite thing to do when you are not at work?
Kayak and go tent camping.
What is your theme song?
Lose Yourself by Eminem.
Hidden talent? Or something people would be surprised to know about you?
There are a few but I have been through multiple survival courses and camps, and can live in the woods without assistance (even without the mighty Google or smart phone), and I’ve been playing the piano since I was 5.