InCommon IAM Online Speaker Spotlight: Q&A with Mandi Witkovsky, Director of Identity & Access Management at Purdue University

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By Apryl Motley - Technical Writer & Communications Lead, Internet2 Trust and Identity/NET+ Service

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

Mandi Witkovsky, director of identity & access management at Purdue University, will be our featured speaker for “Purdue University’s IAM Modernization Success Story” as part of IAM Online on Wednesday, September 27 at 1 p.m. ET with Charise Arrowood, executive director, business development, at InCommon Catalyst Unicon Inc., serving as moderator. Mandi gave us a preview of some of the insights she’ll share during IAM Online.

What are some challenges that you encountered during your institution’s IAM modernization journey? 

I’ve been through several modernization/overhaul efforts over the years. The biggest challenge is making the time to work on new efforts while you are still maintaining the legacy environment and still building new integrations in the legacy environment.  There’s no down time in IT, and especially in IAM.

How did you overcome them? 

You have to build relationships with folks, so they learn to trust your judgment and will give you a little flexibility in timelines.

Why is IAM modernization an important topic to cover? 

It’s important for people to see they are not alone. We are all living the same IAM reality to one extent or another. We all have improvements to make in our spaces.

What do you hope attendees will learn from your presentation? 

The old saying is true.  You eat an elephant one bite at a time. Don’t let the magnitude of work delay progress.

Mandi Witovsky smiles for a photo.
Mandi Witkovsky, Director of Identity & Access Management at Purdue University

Best IAM Advice She Ever Received (& from whom):

Unfortunately, I don’t think I ever received any IAM advice. Early in my career on the Purdue Fort Wayne campus, there was no IAM team, and I had to learn on my own. I got bit by the bug and just started diving in and learning everything I could. My advice to others is to find the smart people and ask a lot of questions!

What’s the #1 piece of advice you would give peers as they embark on an IAM modernization journey?  

Just start! There’s no easy way to tackle a mountain of legacy infrastructure. Figure out what your biggest pain points are and start strategizing on how to improve the situation.

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