Identity, privacy management gain importance

Constraints in scope and budget of identity access management and privacy projects and continued wrangling over regulations among six trends to impact industry this year, Gartner says.

Companies will limit the scope of their identity access management (IAM) and privacy management projects in light of "restrained" budgets, yet have to manage evolving landscape amid ongoing debates over identity and privacy laws and regulations, said Gartner.

In a research note issued on Wednesday, Gartner identified six trends that will drive the evolution of corporate management of IAM and privacy management this year. These trends are "tactical identity; identity assurance; authorization; the identity bridge; the sea of tokens; and policy battles", it stated.

Elaborating on some of these trends, the research firm said many IAM projects fail because of an overly broad scope combined with a lack of focus on business value, and companies no longer have the budget or appetite for projects run the risk of such failure. With this in mind, companies will aim for tactical identity in that the scope and budget for these projects will "remain constrained" to help ensure success in its implementation, it explained.

Companies will also have to establish an "identity bridge" in order to span the chasm between organizations, it stated.

"Managing federated identities is a complex task, and the protocols for federated provisioning and federated management of identity policies and attributes are immature... [as such,] a new architectural component is needed to manage the flow of identity information between cooperating organizations," Gartner said.

Evolving regulatory landscape adds complexity
Another trend that will impact IAM and privacy management initiatives is the ongoing wrangling by the business community, the privacy lobby, law enforcement and national security communities over identification and privacy regulations, the research note stated. This, in turn, will drive changes in the identity infrastructure, it added.

Bob Blakley, vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner, also commented in the note: "On the one hand, identity is the main point of control that organizations have over information in a world where users own the clients and outsourcers own the servers. On the other hand, establishing identity in such a diverse and heterogeneous environment is becoming more difficult."

"New technologies, new services and new architectures are emerging in response to these pressures, but plenty of work still has to be done before the industry can produce a comprehensive and dependable identity architecture for the modern world."

In conclusion, Blakley said businesses will need to increase their focus on IAM and privacy projects that can achieve quick time-to-value and deliver real value to both IT and the business, and the importance of such initiatives will become "more important than ever" in light of increased adoption of mobile devices and cloud services within the enterprise arena. 


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