• United States



by Jonathan Penn

Identity Management Market Expands

Oct 31, 20022 mins
CSO and CISOData and Information Security

The primary forces driving the identity management market are the benefits of product integration, the need of organizations to establish tighter cross-enterprise relationships and the expansion of identity management to encompass greater business functionality.

Market leadership among identity management vendors will be determined by vendors ability to deliver broad identity management capabilities through integrated product portfolios or strong partnerships, to provide identity management solutions for federated environments and over Web Services protocols and to expand the relevance of identity management to other business issues, such as data privacy. Vendors failing to attain or retain leadership positions may succeed through unique features that will sustain them as best-of-breed players, but will most likely either experience diminishing strategic relevance in the market or exit the identity management arena entirely through acquisition or retrenchment.

The predominant market trends for 2003 include:

  • Major vendors developing identity management platforms
  • Convergence of certain identity management-related markets, specifically metadirectories and password management into provisioning
  • The development of tighter integration between Web SSO and provisioning solutions
  • Vendor consolidation
  • Strong market growth
  • Focus on federated identity and sharing identity information across business boundaries
  • Building support for identity management in the context of Web Services
  • The expansion of identity management to include data privacy

Enterprises should expect significant market upheaval. There is greater risk of product obsolescence and migration when selecting smaller vendors without an established customer base. Evaluate products not only on their present functional capabilities, but also on a vendors market leadership qualities as outlined above.

There are many specifications related to federated identity, some complementary and others competing. The outcome of these standards efforts wont be clear for some time, and enterprises should closely monitor this important area.

However, implementation at this stage is for early adopters only. Expect to deal with significant integration issues in linking accounts across both business units and organizations because there are many technology, security and business issues to work out.