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Getting Started as a New Okta Administrator
Published: Jan 27, 2015   -   Updated: Dec 23, 2017

Getting Started as an Okta Administrator
 
What is an Okta Administrator?

1. Get connected

2. Train for success

Formal learning

Informal learning

Assessment

3. Deploy Okta

Plan your deployment

Prepare your support team

Add your apps

Add your users

Launch day

4. Encourage adoption

Additional resources

 
Once your organization has Okta, your Okta administrator is the person who keeps everything running. Is that you? Great, welcome to the community. Read on for a description of what this role involves, what you need to know to get yourself and your environment properly set up, and how to get your team set up as well. But, first things first:

What is an Okta Administrator?

As an administrator (or "admin"), you have access to the Okta Administrator Dashboard. Admins control many of the permissions for Okta, including:
  • Provisioning and deprovisioning end users
  • Assigning apps
  • Resetting passwords
  • Taking care of the overall end-user experience

Only administrators have the Administration button on the upper right side of the “My Applications” page. They have access to the Administrator Dashboard.
There are a few different levels of administrators, and each one has different permissions and roles. You can find all the details on our Administrators page.
So, what do you do first? We’ve prepared a step-by-step guide that should help you understand the whole process. If you come across any terms you're not familiar with, check out the Okta Terminology page for an explanation.

1. Get connected

As a new administrator, there are a few quick things you should set up to make sure you’re getting all the information you need:

2. Train for success

Time to learn how to use all the tools you have access to. It’s not that complicated, we promise. We will send you an email with all the details you and your team need to get set up with training. You can learn more about the training process here, or check out our comprehensive list of course offerings.
 
There are three types of training for Okta Administrators: formal, informal, and assessment.

Formal learning

Formal learning includes training modules that will tell you everything you need to know about getting set up with Okta. It’s a good idea to do these modules before deployment.
   
See our full list of Okta classes for admins.

Informal learning

Informal learning is less structured, but can be just as beneficial. These are things you can learn as you go, based on your needs and which Okta services you’re using.
 

Certification

After you’ve completed your formal and informal training, you have the option to become a Certified Okta Administrator. It’s a great way to ensure you’re getting the most out of Okta, and is a transferable skill you can bring to plenty of roles down the line. You can find all the details on certification here.
 
Got questions? Head to the Okta Help Center to access documentation, reach out to others, or request support from Okta. Here’s how to log in.
 
There are also plenty of “Getting Started” videos available—we recommend that you check them out. Quick links to some key Help Center content below:

Know your Support Entitlement

Know your support entitlement.  Here are copies or details for available support entitlements:  
  • Okta For Good accounts with no additional entitlements are allowed 3 support cases per year.
  • Basic
  • Premier
  • Premier Access (coming soon)
  • Premier Plus

3. Deploy Okta

You’re just about ready to use Okta.
 
Before you get into the nitty-gritty of deployment on your own, you should know that you don’t have to, if you are using Professional Services or working with an Okta Partner. Our Professional Services team can help get everything set up for you. If you purchased Professional Services, we will reach out in the next week to set up a kickoff call. If not:

  • Sign in to the Okta Help Center or click the links in your welcome emails for instructions on how to deploy your new product(s)

  • To automate part of the process, you may want to set up just-in-time provisioning

Plan your deployment

Before you launch, develop a comprehensive deployment plan. This should include planning for the technical implementation (directory integration, adding users, application configuration, testing/fixing, etc.) and also best practices like completing a pilot, allowing time for testing, and training your team.
 
Ensure that your plan covers:

  • Issues management

  • Status meetings/reporting

  • Change management

  • Escalation management

 
Once you have a plan in place, communicate it to your deployment team, figure out who is responsible for what, and set up a timeline. Your deployment team should include:

  • Executive sponsor: Decides on strategic direction and provides escalation support

  • IT/System Administrator: Leads the technical implementation of Okta

  • Help Desk Manager: Makes sure support staff are ready to help users with Okta

  • Trainer: Shows employees how to use Okta

Prepare your support team

If your internal help desk will be fielding questions and resolving issues once Okta goes live, make sure they’re up to speed before you launch. Many Okta customers also use this training curriculum when on-boarding new help desk agents in the future.  


Access the live virtual class or video on-demand for helpdesk training:  

Add your apps

Adding apps is easy to do. Just search for them in the catalog and select from thousands of apps that Okta has preconfigured for you.
 
If an app you want is not available in the catalog, use the template app feature to configure it yourself. To do this, just search for "Template App" and select the app that appears. You can configure the template app so that it functions just like any other Okta-managed application. See Using the Okta Applications Page for more information.
 
Ensure success and widespread adoption by having your organization’s most commonly used applications available on the Okta Homepage. This will show end users how useful Okta can be, and make it easy for them to start using Okta right away.

Add your users

There are a few ways to get all your users into Okta:

  • Create users and groups directly in Okta

  • Integrate Okta into your Active Directory or LDAP and import your users from there

  • Import users from a CSV file

 
If your app supports it, you can provision to schedule regular imports, use custom import mapping rules, provision and deprovision users, and automatically push user profile updates.
 
After you have imported and created users on your system, you need to activate their accounts. When you activate an account, Okta sends an account creation email to the account owner's primary and secondary email address. Once they’re in the system, you can assign your apps to users and groups in your directory. App assignment ensures that your users only receive access to the apps they need.
 
See the Okta People page for more information.

Launch day

In the days leading up to your go-live day, make sure everyone is ready:

  • Send final communications to IT, your Help Desk, and your employees

  • Make sure that the support process is well understood:

    • Is the Help Desk ready to field questions about Okta?

    • Is Desktop Services or Support ready to help get users signed in for the first time?

    • Do employees know who to contact if they have questions?

 
One of our customers had their launch team walking the office floor to help users get into Okta for the first time. Another set up a “Genius Bar” in the cafeteria to answer questions and demo Okta on launch day. Approaches like these make it easy for everyone to understand how to use their new tools.

4. Encourage adoption

The higher percentage of end users you have at your organization, the better Okta can help you keep everything streamlined and secure. Our Adoption Toolkit will help you get them using Okta consistently.
 
As an Admin, you will automatically receive our Release Notes. These are weekly updates on new features, bug fixes, new app integrations, and more.

Additional resources

 
Remember, we are here to help. If any of this seems confusing, or you aren’t able to find an answer to your question, get in touch with Okta Customer Support.

 

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Comments

  • Patrick Monahan on October 13, 2017

    Under the section in blue labeled "Certification", there is a link for "universal directory". That is a dead link. 

    https://support.okta.com/help/Documentation/Knowledge_Article/About-Universal-Directory-1147421734