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Exploring the science and magic of Identity and Access Management
Saturday, May 25, 2024

Transmission of Intelligence and a Multitude of Plausible Fictions

Author: Mark Dixon
Wednesday, August 29, 2012
7:35 pm

I just finished reading a fascinating book, The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood, by James Gleick.  My two favorite statements in the book occur in the first chapter and the last:

The first statement is attributed to Claude Shannon, who is generally recognized as the father of information theory.  He wrote a letter to a colleague in 1939, which included this explanation:

I have been working on an analysis of some of the fundamental properties of general systems for the transmission of intelligence.” (emphasis added)

Although “information” has been accepted over “intelligence” as the commonly-used term in this area of science, the concept of transmitting and receiving intelligence has long fascinated me – from a scientific perspective because of my chosen profession and from a theological perspective related to the revelation of intelligence from God to man.

The second statement comes from Gleick himself in the final chapter, as he opined ever so succinctly on our life in an information-overloaded society:

The truth seems harder to find amid the multitude of plausible fictions.

I highly recommend the book. It is, as a USA Today writer stated, “Like the best college courses: challenging by rewarding.”

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Identity and Access Intelligence

Author: Mark Dixon
Friday, March 4, 2011
4:52 pm

business tipsWay back in September 2009 (it seems like an eternity in Identity years), I made a prediction that data analytics would begin to play a larger role in the Identity and Access Management market:

Advanced data analytics will bring value to many identity-based activities such as Authentication (historical “fingerprints” based on your patterns of accessing online resources), Context/Purpose (predicting preferences from your historical activity) and Auditing (who really did what when?).

Following my blog post this morning, Alan Norquist, CEO and founder of Veriphyr, dropped me an email which at least partially confirmed that prediction.  Alan referred me to an article by Earl Perkins of Gartner entitled, Time for Intelligence and Clarity in IAM.

A few excerpts:

Something interesting is developing in the identity and access management arena. It isn’t new– if you look closely, you’ll recognize it from countless other technologies and processes that progress to maturity. IAM is no different. What I’m seeing is the maturing of intelligence. …

One could even say that once that knowledge gets into the hands of the right people and they make actionable decisions with it, it’s no longer knowledge– it’s intelligence. …

IAM should be (among other things) about clarity. How do we make clear to the business that there is intelligence on those [IAM] logs, waiting to be mined, and that intelligence may make all the difference in their decisions? The best way is to deliver it, to provide that IAM intelligence is more knowledge for IT users to make IT users’ lives easier. IAM intelligence can be part of the business intelligence realm if properly analyzed and presented to the right audiences.

Gartner calls this “Identity and Access Intelligence.”  I am trying to get a copy of the full Gartner report on this topic.  I’ll comment more when I do.

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