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Exploring the science and magic of Identity and Access Management
Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Identity Trend 1: Market Maturity

Author: Mark Dixon
Thursday, October 1, 2009
2:03 pm

This post is the first in a series of eleven posts I am writing about trends of key importance to the Identity Management industry.

As the following series of photos shows my son Eric progressing from infancy to young adulthood, the Identity Management market has matured, but still has a bright future ahead.


The Identity Management industry has been building for about a decade.  The market is definitely maturing out of adolescence into young adulthood.  Key characteristics of this maturing market include:

  1. Much focus is being given to best practices of how to maximize enterprises’ investment in these systems.  Rather than focusing on green field Identity implementations, enterprises are concentrating on system refinement, expansion or replacement.
  2. While the industry quite universally agrees that “quick wins” are essential first steps to implementing Identity Management systems, significant additional value can accrue as enterprises expand the reach and scope of their Identity infrastructure.
  3. The importance of Identity governance is becoming entrenched in enterprise culture, as holistic initiatives to address the broad areas of governance, risk and compliance recognize the critical importance of Identity Management in these processes.
  4. Experience has shown that Identity Management is a journey, not a destination.  Enterprises are recognizing that they must approach Identity Management as a long-term program, not a single project.
  5. The industry continues to consolidate, as we at Sun are well aware.  While there are still several emerging niche companies, larger vendors offer complete suites of Identity Management products.
  6. The major business drivers for investing in Identity Management systems still continue to be regulatory compliance, operational efficiency/cost and information security.  However, more focus is being placed on Identity as a key enabler of customer satisfaction through context-aware personalization.
  7. Identity Management is also moving down market, particularly as vendors and systems integrators are addressing the issues of rapid deployment and reduced pricing for smaller businesses.


In light of this maturing industry, I recommend that enterprises concentrate primarily on the business value Identity Management can deliver.  Questions such as these are appropriate:

  1. Where am I on the journey to implement Identity Management in my enterprise?
  2. Where has Identity Management already delivered value to my business?
  3. Where else can Identity Management deliver value?
  4. How can Identity Management enable Privacy and Security?
  5. How can Identity Management enable compliance?
  6. How can Identity Management increase efficiency and reduce cost?
  7. How can Identity Management enable a better user experience to my customers?
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