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

Software – Only a Part of Identity Management

Author: Mark Dixon
Wednesday, January 4, 2006
1:48 am

Yesterday, I attended a kickoff meeting for another Sun Identity Manager implementation project. Such events are always exciting to me – a new start, lots of enthusiasm and optimism, great expectations.

Eighteen people attended the kickoff meeting – ten gathered around a big conference table and another eight via telephone. Of the eighteen, only three will put fingers on keyboards to configure the Identity Manager software. The rest held other roles – information security, network engineering, facilities, systems administration, project management – the list goes on. And these were just IT people, not representatives of the user community.

This illustrates a fact of life in the Identity Management world – it takes more than software to implement an effective Identity Management system. These systems are not conveniently isolated islands of functionality. They have many touch points in many parts of an organization. Skillful coordination of many disciplines is necessary for successful deployment.

Lessons learned? May I suggest two:

1. Accept the fact that Identity Management projects are inherently complex. This is not because the software to be implemented is complex, but that Identity is at the core of how a business is operated. Many people will use the system. Many disciplines must be involved in making it work.

2. Don’t skimp on dynamic project leadership. Projects like this, with many stakeholders and inter-disciplinary coordination, demand strong communications skills and relentless, proactive attention to detail.



2 Responses to “Software – Only a Part of Identity Management”

    So when will Sun work with RedMonk to create an 100% open source identity management roadmap?

    Comment by James on January 4, 2006 at 4:00 am

    I’ll pass the question to Sara Gates. I’m not in the loop on those decisions.

    Comment by Mark Dixon on January 4, 2006 at 5:03 am

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