Coming out of the Major League Baseball's All-star break, I'm reminded of the fact that it is July, and the digital identity industry is now "headed for home" on the calendar year. With that in mind, a brief report on the first part of the year seems to be in order.
The "calendar" of digital identity revolves around three main points: the RSA Security conference, Burton Group's Catalyst and Digital ID World. The events are filled with product launches, acquisitions and various bits of news. Looking back over the RSA show and Catalyst, three prominent stories emerge:
1. Identity M&A isn't slowing down
Many technology watchers would've claimed that last year was the year of mergers and acquisitions in identity, but 2006 is performing quite well. To this point, we have:
A. GeoTrust buying TrustCenter
B. Identix and Visage merging
C. Verisign buying GeoTrust
D. EMC buying RSA Security
And, I'm hearing that the acquisitions won't slow as the year progresses.
2. User-centric Identity gets real
Whether you're talking Sxip, Higgins, OSIS, YADIS, XRI, OpenID or Versign's PIP, the "heat" in identity is around user-centric identity. To the community's credit, projects like OSIS and Higgins are working with all other comers (including Microsoft) on methods for interoperability. Are we close to the "internet identity" problem being solved? Of course not. Are the alpha geeks and developer constituencies making progress on that front? Absolutely.
3. Identity keeps on expanding
The list of identity companies getting funding or becoming "identity" companies is staggering: SignaCert, Actimize, Ilantus, Bharosa, Vasco, Secured Services, Purisma, Paoga, PassFaces, Agistics, ID Focus, Neogent, Approva, Identicentric, Identyx, Iotum, CallingID, Livo Technologies and on and on. Bottom line: the marketplace of identity vendors is all about one thing right now -- *expansion*.
These three major stories from the first half of the identity year point to a marketplace that is energized and growing. Identity's importance grows daily and the solutions aimed at various aspects of identity grow accordingly. The second half of the year should see all of this movement continuing at a rapid pace. Rounding third and headed for home...