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Exploring the science and magic of Identity and Access Management
Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Guitars and Identity Management

Author: Mark Dixon
Friday, September 30, 2005
5:09 pm

has been said that a guitar is easy to play and hard to play well.

Implementing Identity Management systems is something like that. It is relatively
easy to give a great demonstration but much harder to configure and deploy a
production system. Why? Identity Managements systems have many moving parts
that must work in harmony. Many identities, many managed systems, many data
sources and repositories and many applications that require both access and

Enterprises that implement such systems have many stakeholders, often with
conflicting interests and motivations. For example, the marketing department
is motivated to make it as easy as possible for millions of customers to do
business with the enterprise, while the security department wants to make sure
that no bad guys get in.

Just like coaxing beautiful and intricate melodies and harmonies out of a guitar
requires the expert touch of a master’s hand, getting all the moving parts of
an Identity Management system working in harmony with all the stakeholders in
an enterprise can require the skill and experience of a master implementor.
And what does that require? Much like the guitarist: knowledge, passion, skill,
practice, dedication and motivation.

It’s not easy, but the results can be extraordinary.



2 Responses to “Guitars and Identity Management”

    That’s exactly true. People usually don’t see the complexity behind the implementation. And it is not the IDM technology itself that is complex, but it is the environment. People that never implemented an IDM would not believe what it can bring. Both good and bad.

    More on this in the Enterprise Identity Management section of my blog

    Comment by Radovan Semancik on November 15, 2005 at 9:57 am


    Thanks for your comments. I enjoyed reading your blog about the complexity of role implementation.

    Best regards,


    Comment by Mark Dixon on November 15, 2005 at 5:10 pm

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