Automating Hypergrowth with Okta: The Pagaya Case Study

Dror Arie Head of Engineering @ GlobalDots
4 Min read

HR professionals usually agree that proper employee onboarding is a 90-day process. Stats mentioning 7 days are therefore responded to with horror, or at least great concern.

But, a great deal of employee onboarding – namely the IT part of it – can actually be automated. Imagine account provisioning by role and team rolling out as soon as the employee is listed on the organizational AD; Imagine deprovisioning taking place instantly upon role change or offboarding.

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Now see how it comes to be in our latest Cloud Security case study.

The Business Need GlobalDots Identified

Pagaya Investments manages institutional funds by leveraging machine learning and big data analytics for risk management. Through its focus on consumer lending to fixed-income individuals and alternative credit investments, this unicorn fintech organization expects an $8 billion valuation for its planned SPAC merger. With growth as impressive as Pagaya’s, you might wonder what they could need a solution for.

Initially, Pagaya reached out to Okta for help with implementing an Identity & Access Management (IAM) solution. The goal of implementing an IAM solution was to ensure compliance with InfoSec standards required from financial service providers. At its core, this project entailed implementing SSO and MFA to meet InfoSec standards. After initial inquiries, Okta wanted to ensure its solution could be configured to meet this core need so they referred Pagaya to GlobalDots for implementation.

With 17 years of experience implementing enterprise security solutions, GlobalDots was Okta’s go-to reference based on Pagaya’s needs. So, Pagaya and GlobalDots began an initial discovery dialogue.

During this initial discovery dialogue, GlobalDots recognized Pagaya’s state of hypergrowth. Within this state of hypergrowth, Pagaya was regularly onboarding several employees every single day. Onboarding this many employees without any onboarding automation resulted in a significant burden. This discovery led GlobalDots to not only find a solution to meeting InfoSec standards, but also automating the overflow of headcount growth.

GlobalDots’ Comprehensive Solution for IAM and Onboarding Automation

Prior to discussing needs with GlobalDots, Pagaya was under the assumption that solving its need to meet InfoSec standards and automating its onboarding would require two entirely separate projects. However, thanks to GlobalDots extensive expertise and understanding of Okta’s capabilities, these two needs were solved under a single project.

Instead of only implementing Okta’s IAM solution, GlobalDots implemented the full arc of Okta’s latest technologies into Pagaya’s IT ecosystem. This technology included Okta’s latest acquisition of Azuqua which builds powerful automation through multiple integrated SaaS applications. These technologies allow Pagaya to maintain its high standards for onboarding new employees while providing a fully automated onboarding process.

So, how did GlobalDots leverage Okta’s capabilities to provide highly effective solutions for Pagaya?

Given the two distinct needs of this project, GlobalDots broke the project up into two distinct phases.

In the first phase, GlobalDots implemented Okta’s IAM solution to provide Pagaya with Single Sign-On (SSO) and Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA). During this implementation, GlobalDots ensured all employees of Pagaya could continue operating as usual by using Okta for onboarded apps and in-app login for the others. To implement SSO, GlobalDots used Pagaya’s universal directory which was derived from Pagaya’s existing MS Active Directory and its HR system. GlobalDots was able to customize this solution so depending on the device, both biometric and mobile push notifications were enabled. Finally, MFA was implemented for additional security and InfoSec compliance.

On top of implementing SSO and MFA through Okta, GlobalDots also integrated Okta with Pagaya’s AWS account with AWS IAM to allow for role-based access.

For the second phase, GlobalDots smoothened the employee onboarding experience allowing Pagaya to onboard new employees automatically in just seconds. Automating employee onboarding for Pagaya involved automating new employee account creation, permission provisioning, and permission deprovisioning.

With this onboarding automation, Pagaya’s new onboarding experience is entirely automated following a seamless process for every new hire. This allows Pagaya to scale its workforce as they grow without requiring additional hires to simply onboard new employees. Instead, Pagaya’s IT department can now scale their onboarding process as they need.

The Benefits of GlobalDots’ Solutions

GlobalDots understood that Pagaya’s state of hypergrowth prevented them from allowing for any amount of downtime during these implementations. So, GlobalDots ensured an entirely noiseless implementation for both phases of the project. This allows Pagaya to continue its normal operations during the entire length of this project.

Prior to this project, Pagaya did not have a dedicated security function within its IT Department. Given this limitation, GlobalDots ensured the implemented IAM solution provided easy management over the entire security and compliance domain. Through GlobalDots’ implementation, Pagaya did not need to hire additional IT professionals to manage the provided IAM solution.

In addition to these two main benefits, GlobalDots’ provided solution completely solved Pagaya’s two most urgent business needs. With the provided solution, Pagaya can now provide a completely seamless onboarding experience for every new hire, ensure full InfoSec compliance, scale its headcount based on growth, and ensure high-level security.

With GlobalDots’ provided solution, Pagaya was able to double its headcount in just two months to over 400 employees.

Conclusion

What initially started as a simple project to meet InfoSec compliance turned into an extensive project for automating a major pain point of Pagaya’s rapid growth. Thanks to GlobalDots’ extensive experience, Pagaya can now scale its headcount at a rate to match its growing needs.

If you need assistance with streamlining your business through technology and creating a smart growth strategy, contact GlobalDots today for a consultation on your end-to-end IT infrastructure needs.

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