Identropy leverages the cloud to improve identity management

Identity management systems are core to the security and viability of any commercial enterprise but they are complex and hard to deploy.
Written by Tom Foremski, Contributor

Identropy recently launched its SCUID Identity Management system, which takes an interesting approach in reducing the considerable costs of integrating and deploying such systems within the enterprise.

I can't count how many times I've been pitched about identity management systems over the past two decades and it's still happening to my great surprise because you'd think it would be a standard solution intrinsic to every enterprise environment.

Clearly, it's not easy to produce an ID management system that works well, or that doesn't have high implementation and admin costs. And with the added complexity of semi-open but always-connected corporate IT systems, there's a universe of identity tasks that have to be handled outside the firewall, in addition to the traditional internal needs of large organizations.

I recently spoke with Ranjeet Vidwans, VP of Marketing and Business Development about how SCUID was developed and how the cloud and a core focus on user interfaces promises a breakthrough in ID management systems.

Here are some notes from our conversation:

- The startup has recruited an impressive executive team of Identity management industry veterans who've worked at large vendors and integrators, such as Oracle, IBM, PricewaterhouseCoopers, CRT Group, Thor Technologies, and Oblix.

- SCUID stands for Secure Cloud-based Unified Identity. It is designed to be one-tenth the cost, and take a fraction of the time to deploy by leveraging the cloud and preconfigured setups that eliminate the need for expensive consultants and integrators. This means it can be rolled out in a matter of weeks compared with the traditional IT process of implementation and testing new systems, which can take up to a year or more before they can be used and begin payback.

- Customization is greatly simplified through the development of 30 frameworks based on 150 use cases designed to provide standard features from the outset while being easy to customize with additional features.

 - The frameworks are designed for the needs of companies in specific industries, including detailed support for regulatory compliance rules for those industries. This helps companies abide with regulatory laws that often have high penalties for non-compliance and avoid accidentally missing important safeguards.

- Ongoing maintenance costs are considerably reduced because the application is updated and run by a large staff of top IT specialists at Indentropy, which makes sure it is always optimized and working at its best performance.

- Administration of SCUID is made easier because of the companies focus on designing user interfaces that are easy to understand, and pre-configured to make it easy to carry out routine tasks. 

- Identropy is very proud of its user interfaces, it spent six months perfecting the design before starting the software development. The user interface us based on the company's executives' long experience with how enterprises use ID systems, and on focus groups testing the interface.

- Identropy is betting that its approach should be a winner because the cloud-based system provides fast, low-cost implementation, it has  low admin costs, and it removes updating headaches. This all adds up to considerable savings in total cost of ownership that can be less than one-tenth of traditional implementations.

- Many organizations have blind spots in implementing their ID systems. For example, interns within financial organizations can often accumulate clearances for nearly the entire organization — more than almost anyone in the entire organization -- because they work for short periods in many departments. Identropy's ID system prevents such lapses in security by looking out for common ID management mistakes.

- SCUID constantly searches for unusual activities and either blocks the activity or alerts administrators.

Foremski's Take: SCUID appears to tick all the boxes in terms of what is needed in a modern ID management system that has to deal with a masses of identities within and outside the enterprise, while taking advantage of considerable benefits of a cloud-based IT solution.

Identropy might find it challenging in getting the word out about its near off-the-shelf approach because large integrators and consulting groups have far smaller roles and less incentive to promote SCUID.

However, the SAAS approach also makes it easy for enterprises to quickly test and taste SCUID before rolling out larger installations. 

ID management systems are crucial to the security of any company and their importance will grow tremendously because they touch everything that is core to every business, and in the activities of all types of commerce -- inside and outside the enterprise.

The complexity of managing IDs will grow as enterprises themselves become hybrid entities, cloud-like and nebulous. Identropy takes away a big chunk of complexity by allowing businesses to outsource the technology, and simplify daily admin tasks. IT staff can then focus on making sure that their ID management systems are protective without becoming obstacles to the smooth the running of crucial business processes.


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