Digital ID World recap, part 2

Eric continues to share "what he learned" at Digital ID World...

A recap, part 2

I'm continuing my "what I learned at Digital ID World" series that I started yesterday.

What I learned about Network Access Control

NAC (network access control) and identity was my pet project for this show. I tried to get our audience, which are traditionally application-layer folks, to come to appreciate how they need to start understanding identity at the network-layer. The good news: those that "get it," really get it. One prominent analyst-type at the show told me that the NAC-identity connection was *the* hot topic in their behind closed doors discussion. Additionally, the sessions focused on NAC were loaded with real enterprises asking real questions. Several people even commented on the noticeable absence of Cisco at the show (I invited them and they told me they didn't see themselves as an identity company).

Bottom Line: Identity-based NAC is a *real* market phenomenon. Customers are learning, companies have products, and analysts are beginning to pay attention. Thinking that identity is simply an application problem is a huge mistake -- one that Digital ID World isn't making. Look for NAC to become a major focus for us over the next year.

What I learned "behind the scenes"

1. Big companies are shifting resources to meet the demand for federated identity solutions.

2. Small to mid-size software vendors in the provisioning, E-SSO, virtual directory and federation areas are seeing *real* ramping of revenue, customers and success.

3. The next big problem for federated identity to solve is "scale."

4. Several big companies spent a lot of time "talking" to several smaller players in the "user-centric" space (take that as you will).

5. Jonathan Penn (of Forrester) declined to be on a panel because he thought he'd get more value by being in the audience (and he said I could quote him).

6. "Penetration" of identity management deployments has still only scratched the surface of the Fortune 1000.

7. Accordingly, the mid-market is just *barely* starting to come on board.

In part 3, I'll recap some big announcements and thoughts on conferences in general...