April 10, 2024 | IBM i

Password Reset: How Much Do Manual IBM i Password Resets Cost?


In this blog we cover:

  • Comparing IBM i Manual Password Reset to Self-Service Password Reset
  • Calculating Your IBM i Manual Password Reset Costs
  • Calculating Lost Productivity Time Due to Manual Password Resets
  • Discovering Other Benefits of IBM i SSPR Solutions

Comparing IBM i Manual Password Reset to Self-Service Password Reset 

Today’s post demonstrates how to calculate your organization’s yearly Help Desk cost for manually resetting IBM i passwords, where users call their Help desk to reset lost, expired, or disabled passwords.  


You can use these costs to demonstrate how much time, money, and IT resources are being wasted on manual IBM i password resets. Compare these numbers against the acquisition cost to purchase and install an IBM i self-service password reset (SSPR) solution. This comparison will help you decide whether it’s beneficial to implement SSPR to allow users to reset their own IBM i passwords without Help Desk involvement, the same as they currently do for their Web and mobile apps.  


Besides reducing IT costs, SSPR solutions can satisfy multi-factor authentication, improve staff and IT productivity, and improve customer service.  

Calculating Your IBM i Manual Password Reset Costs 

How expensive are manual password resets? Here are some significant metrics that an average IBM i organization faces when they don’t offer automated self-service password resets. 

  • Gartner estimates that up to 40% of all Help Desk calls involve manual password resets 
  • Forrester Research reports that each manual password reset Help Desk ticket costs $70 to resolve 
  • It can take 40 minutes on average to manually reset a forgotten or locked out IBM i password. Even longer during off-hour shifts (nights, weekends, & holidays) when fewer Help Desk staff are available. 
  • Self-Service Password Reset (SSPR) solutions can reduce manual password reset tickets by ~80%, with Help Desk assistance still needed for ~20% of calls 
  • Most organizations require mandatory password changes across IBM i systems every few months 
  • Bloomberg speculates that each employee spends an average of 11 hours per year remembering or resetting passwords 

The expected cost is high for relying solely on IBM i manual password resets. Your organization may be able to reduce these costs and do more with an IBM i SSPR solution, such as iSecurity Password Reset 


You can use the equations in table 1 to calculate how much your organization is spending to manually reset IBM i user passwords.  

Table 1: Calculations to determine IBM i manual password reset costs 


In an organization that logs 10,000 IBM i-related Help Desk tickets per year, Table 2 shows how much a typical organization may be spending on manually resetting IBM i passwords.

Table 2: Example IBM i manual password reset costs for a typical organization 


Replace the numbers used here with your own ticket and cost per ticket numbers to find your organization’s IBM i manual password reset costs. You can use these numbers against the cost of an SSPR system to determine what the ROI would be for implementing the new system. Depending on your SSPR costs, the ROI payback period may be significant.  


IBM i SSPR pricing models can vary by vendor. Many enterprise vendors use subscription or user pricing. Others may use one-time acquisition fees and yearly maintenance pricing. Check with IBM i SSPR security vendors such as SEA to determine the pricing for your environment.  

Calculating Lost Productivity Time Due to Manual Password Resets 

Another significant number involved with password resets is yearly average lost productivity hours. This is the average amount of time organizational users spend each year waiting for their passwords to manually be reset, which can be calculated by using this equation in Table 3: 

Table 3: Calculating lost productivity time due to manual IBM password resets


Table 4 shows the average lost productivity time using the same example numbers we used in Table 2. 

Table 4: Example lost productivity time due to manual IBM password resets


Using an SSPR solution can significantly reduce this number down to 5 minutes or less for each ticket, creating a new lost production time of 333.33 hours for SSPR in this example [(4000 tickets * 5 minutes) / 60 minutes = 333.33 hours]. 


Again, you can plug in your own numbers to get your organization’s lost productivity hours. This number can also be converted into a cost by multiplying it by the average cost per hour for a worker at your organization. 

Discovering Other Benefits of IBM i SSPR solutions 

In addition to the financial and time savings organizations can receive by using an IBM i SSPR solution, there are several other benefits you can accrue when using SSPR including: 

  • Reduced security risks –SSPR solutions satisfy multi-factor authentication requirements. SSPR helps prevent fraudulent password disclosure or phishing schemes that can occur during manual password resets. 
  • Auditing security – Self-service password resets are logged and can be reported to auditors, providing audit documentation that the system is working correctly. 
  • Minimum training–Users are accustomed to automated password resets from using Web-based services and apps. Introducing SSPR into the IBM i environment will cause little disruption because your users are pre-trained in doing their own password resets. 
  • Reassignment of Help Desk staff – SSPR reduces the need for Help Desk personnel. This leaves you free to retrain newly redundant Help Desk staffers for higher level assignments. 

Once you know what your yearly cost and yearly lost productivity hours are due to manual IBM i password resets, you can compare those numbers against what your acquisition cost would be to purchase and install a self-service password reset solution.  If the annual cost of manually resetting IBM i passwords is greater than the cost of installing and configuring automated SSPR software, then you have a very good chance at cost-justifying a package. 

Find out more about IBM i SSPR 

There are several vendors who provide IBM i self-service password reset software. If you’d like to learn more about this topic, contact us at SEA and we’ll be glad to help.