I'm at Catalyst today, sitting in the Identity and Privacy Strategies (IPS) track. Jamie Lewis (Burton Group CEO) is giving the keynote. It's telling, I think, that Jamie's here and not at one of the other tracks. The IPS track is in a large ballroom and the place is packed. Jamie's mostly talking about why identity management (IdM) is important now and what's driving it. Some interesting points:
- Interoperable IdM must be an integral service on any enterprise service bus.
- Most vendor suites, at this point, are suites in name only. Lots of integration needs to be done past changing the brand.
- Vendors are arguing about roads rather than building cars to run on those roads.
- The most optimistic scenario is that open source solutions (the roads) will take five years to emerge.
- Jamie sees some inhibitors and variables such as security has rewards, but the cost outweighs the risks in many cases. Identity can enable security.
- Identity for the Internet has to be part of the puzzle. The lack of a cohesive identity system for the Internet is a problem we have to solve because it's impeding growth.
- The top-down sysadmin view of IdM won't scale for the Net. Poly-centrism is important here.
So, what should you be doing now? Jamie had the following advice:
- Relate the problem to your core business objectives. There are five drivers : cost containment, operational efficiency, business needs, regulatory compliance, and risk management.
- Begin by cleaning your own identity house. Look at how you use identity. 80% of the problem is politics and business. No one technology can solve all your problems. Take an architectural approach (this would have been a great point to plug my book, Jamie!)
- Carefully scope the problem and don't try to boil the ocean. Manage expectations. Pick projects with an early demonstrated ROI.