Everyone becoming a cloud provider: financial services

Equifax -- known for its credit monitoring services -- deepens its cloud offerings.

More evidence of the blurring boundaries between cloud/SaaS providers and consumers.

Equifax -- known for its credit monitoring services, but also a provider of data quality and integration services -- recently said it reached the half million user mark for its cloud-based identity and strong authentication service, Anakam.ODI On-Demand Identity, and has just announced what it calls the first cloud-based identity authentication available for enterprise, government and healthcare organizations.

From the press release:

"Being used to protect millions of data records on leading business-to-business portals with more than a half million customers, Anakam.ODI On-Demand Identity can help organizations enhance the security and compliance of the data behind their portals. On-Demand Identity lets  companies grant secure access to users outside the organization with easy-to-use, remote, on-demand identity validation. This ensures that only trusted users gain access to sensitive data. The service also enhances and broadens access in the mobile environment. Organizations will benefit from more cost-effective authentication processes."

Many companies -- and the financial services sector is full of examples -- have very robust information services operations (with healthy service oriented architectural approaches, of course) that they have been providing employees, partners and selected customers for years. The next step to leverage their IT investments to become a cloud provider is a natural one.

Once again, growing evidence that we're all becoming both cloud service providers and consumers.  This is one of the most understated aspects of the "cloud revolution," and a factor missing from most cloud ROI discussions.