Tuesday, December 11, 2007

2007 - The year the Identity Shine Came Off my Apple

2007 – Identity in Review

It’s been a while since I’ve posted, and there is a specific reason for it. I’m over Identity Management as I know/knew it. I still follow Identity Theft stuff, have my alerts set up so I get a dump of 20-30 articles and blog updates every morning in my inbox. Bottom line is Identity Management, at least for me is not new and shiny anymore. I feel some level of sadness about it because I truly believe that Identity Management's evolution was a necessary and exciting thing to have happen in computing.

I have sent my playbook out to over 150 people around the world. The furthest away were folks in South Africa, and the Ukraine this year. I have seen an uptick in my PCI Playbook requests as well the last few months. Deadlines and the threat of fines create urgency I guess.

So why is the shine off the apple for me so soon? I guess I am waiting for the maturation of IdM to be come a service, and it’s solutions and processes to cannibalized as quickly as possible and extract all cost from the business end of provisioning. That’s what happens as IT Markets (driven by application adoption) mature.

Look at email, security, applications at the desktop. As these market segments have matured new pricing models emerged a la Software as a Service. Companies want to pay for the functionality and the inherent benefits of it, not the license cost, or the license management, or the ongoing maintenance fees. In talking to a recent customer a decision was made to stay on Exchange 2003 because the company didn’t feel like paying millions for an upgrade in functionality that was the equivalent of paying $10M for the highlighter function in Microsoft Word. But they still want email, and they want to reduce costs.

So as I look at 2007 for Identity Management I see the maturation of products, the maturation of the marketplace (acquisitions galore), some nice news stories led by the TJX breach and subsequent fines to them and Fifth Third Bank and some successful implementations.

Where do I think the action is in 2008? Software as a Service. Stay tuned for my next post where I’ll get into that in some depth. I will also start to explore some other topics like component based computing (remember Grid?), Virtualization and how it's a 'Green' play, and where there is tremendous growth in 2008-2009.


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