Monday, April 19, 2010

SailPoint Training

Not too bad when you get to go to two training classes in a row. Even better when they are on cool technologies like SAP NetWeaver Identity Manager and SailPoint's Identity IQ.

Had a great time and learned lots of stuff down in Austin, TX with the SailPoint team. Clearly, the IdM field continues to expand and redefine itself as a combination of regulation and security concerns demand better audit and compliance rules. Corporate Governance policies are finding themselves enforced as IT tools embrace certification and audit along with "old school" concepts such as user provisioning, password management and access control. I think SailPoint will be aggressively moving forward to complete this integration to produce a new "Compliance Driven" IdM model.

Given these developments, I find it hard to understand how Burton Group feels that "IdM is not aging gracefully" as pointed out in an abstract on Bob Blakely's latest paper, "Identity and Privacy Strategies Assessment (Single Instance Use Case)"

While I have the greatest respect for the folks at Burton, I have to say I cannot disagree more with this assessment. (Disclosure: I am not currently a Burton Group customer and as such only have access to the abstract and have not read the whole article)

IdM is rising to meet several challenges, as I have indicated above, and if there are architectural flaws it is due more to the fact that current providers are channeling the products to reflect their application suites. Oracle, SAP and Microsoft all embrace some part of their technologies for application serving or the front end or require specialized programming in the form of JAVA, Xpress or ABAP and are increasingly being engineered to work first with their own products and then addressing the rest of the enterprise (SAP is particularly guilty here)

I also foresee additional growth as IdM embraces new technologies in User Identification. A tighter integration between Biometrics, Smart Cards and other identifiers becomes more mainstream. However, before this can begin, IT and IS have to agree on standards and adoption of these identification methods.

Also let's not forget about the Specter of Federated Identity Services. While there have been several successful architectures developed, it's still one of the most complicated IdM scenarios out there. Perfecting the Federation Use Case and its easy deployment will kick off another chapter in IdM's steady evolution.
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