2008 is going to be a good year for identity management-based collaboration

Responses to "prediction" newsletters usually come in hard and fast, and last week's predictions newsletter was no exception. I'll be talking about some of those reactions over the coming weeks but today I want to concentrate on one particular area: the convergence of federation, role-management and provisioning - along with entitlement management - to produce real tools for collaboration.


Jen Conway asked (in an online posting): “…most of the top players are HW/SW vendors and not necessarily system integrators. Do you have thoughts on the SIs getting more involved…?” I must confess, when I wrote the prediction I was thinking of an existing (or, perhaps, a start-up) software vendor creating a “converged” solution. But as that group is most familiar with cobbling together sometimes disparate systems, it just might be the one to handle fulfillment on this prediction. So I was encouraged when, just a few minutes after reading Jen’s posting, an e-mail landed in my inbox.


It was from old friend Brian Brannigan from Agreon in Australia. Brian was also responding to the newsletter and said: “…it continues to be a very good time to be in the Identity SI business.” So that takes care of that question!

Brian added: “Reality is that with a focus on business outcomes and effective implementation (ideally involving an experienced SI), identity represents a relatively low risk, high impact initiative today.” He added, in a glass half-full/half-empty way, that “it seems that outside of Global 1000 companies, the majority of enterprises have been cautious to date only just dipping toes in the identity currents.”

Supporting that anecdotal evidence, Aveksa’s Marketing VP Brian Cleary noted: “…we typically see only 5 to 15 target applications that are connected to a provisioning system within most organizations. The number of applications that are within the scope of compliance is typically measured in the hundreds.”

All in all it does seem like a good time to be in the identity business, whether it’s the vendor or the integrator side. And for the businesses and organizations that are the end users of identity management and identity and access management products and services, the choices have never been better, the implementations never easier. It should be a good year for identity!  


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