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Exploring the science and magic of Identity and Access Management
Friday, July 19, 2024

Seat Belts and Identity

Author: Mark Dixon
Monday, August 1, 2005
10:55 am

Sara Gates
made an interesting observation during a panel discussion at the recent
Catalyst Conference. She said she didn’t use seat belts until the government
mandated seat belt use. She compared this to enterprises delaying good business
practices (such as Identity Management) until government regulations forced
compliance. Others on the panel, including Prakash Ramamurthy of Oracle and

Frank Auger
of Novell, quickly agreed.

Perhaps we can look at it another way, with all due respect to people like
Sara who delayed seat belt use:

business leaders choose good business practices because of inherent advantages
in cost containment, efficiency and revenue generation, just like enlighted
drivers use seat belts because of inherent safety benefits. We often call such
enlighted leaders "bellwethers" or "early adopters." Mediocre business leaders follow
their lead only when forced to by external market pressures or, as Sara suggests,
by government edict.

leaders, in all their benevolent wisdom, attempt to compensate for poor performance
by creating regulations to protect citizens from themselves and from poor business
practices. Therefore, the prevalence of recent government regulations like the
Sarbanes-Oxley act are the direct result of poor business leadership, just like
seat belt laws are the result of citizen apathy towards safety.

Can we therefore thank the apathetic and mediocre for the recent growth in the Identity Management market?



2 Responses to “Seat Belts and Identity”

    Hi Mark, to further expand on the seatbelt and compliance topic, see the latest article I just posted in the Sun Identity Mgmt newsletter: http://www.sun.com/emrkt/campaign_docs/idmgmt/newsletter/1005feature.html

    Comment by Sara Gates on November 10, 2005 at 11:13 am


    Thanks for the link. I liked your observation that “…achieving compliance has to be an integral part of doing business — just as wearing my seat belt has become an integral part of my driving.”



    Comment by Mark Dixon on November 10, 2005 at 3:11 pm

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