Why Is It So Hard to Get an Account?

The consequences of an unauthorized person gaining access and seeing unauthorized data is greater than going slow verifying someone’s identity. Therefore, the bias is in favor of caution and time.
When an IT system is integrated with tools like Simplified Sign-on, access to one system may affect others as well. Then the user must meet higher security standards than initially seem to be needed.
User on-boarding is not always a clear cut process. Users may be directed to the wrong help desk, causing delays. Or users may be sent to the wrong place by managers who rarely “onboard” new people, creating confusion and delays. And delays are introduced when new users ask for permissions or accounts they do not need, slowing down legitimate requests.
External access and contractor access require additional checks and security reviews, adding delays. These people compare their account set up time to employees who need less time.
Reviews and approvals for access could be streamlined in some cases, and failure to design a quick review process can slow down new user set up.
Confusion as to the access level needed often causes delays. I’ve set up users for general access only to have them come back and say they cannot create new documents. They asked for a standard account, only to say that they couldn’t work as configuration managers! If they had asked for the configuration management role up front, I could have received permission for both general user and CM at once. Instead, I had to go back and get approval for the higher level of access, while the user waited a little while longer.
Human Resources sometimes haven’t caught up with the user’s needs. For example, I have had access to IT systems predicated on completion of export control awareness training or IT security training. The user requests an account before having completed the training. I show the user where to take the training, a job HR should do, before I can set up their account. In other cases, the user has not yet been loaded into the HR system with fields demonstrating verified citizenship or eligibility for access to export controlled data before I received the request. The user is then left waiting for one IT system to update before an account can be set up on another.