Issue of cloud security continues to reign

* Burton Group tackles issue with new research document

We can't seem to get away from talking about identity and cloud computing, but that does seem to be the "hot topic" for at least the rest of this year. So hot, in fact, that we can begin to speak of various identity niches within the whole cloud computing/software-as-a-service environment.

For those of you who want to do some serious research in this area, The Burton Group's Mark Diodati (senior analyst for Identity and Privacy Strategies) has released a research document (available to Burton Group clients) called "Directory Services, Federation, and the Cloud." What does it cover? From the summary:

"Organizations are moving their local (on-premises) applications to hosted environments. Organizations are also migrating their applications to software-as-a-service (SaaS) providers (e.g., they are migrating from Exchange to Google Apps e-mail). Organizations are leveraging the hosted environment for several reasons, including cost reduction, better usability, and better availability.

FAQ: Cloud computing, demystified

"Gartner discusses the problem-solving characteristics of virtual directories, synchronization servers, federation products, and cloud identity management (IdM) products as organizations migrate or move their on-premises applications to a hosted environment."

Mark exponds on directory services and federation product classes that assist with the transition, including:

* Virtual directories

* Synchronization servers

* Federation products

* Cloud identity management (IdM) products

The report also includes a long look at Service Provisioning Markup Language (SPML), presents a number of use cases and peers into the future of the various identity systems. It's an important document for Burton Group clients (get it here) and could be worth the cost of signing on if want to move to a secure cloud-based environment.

On the product front, Conformity has just released ConformityConnect, a "painless" and "secure" single sign-on (SSO) product that can be deployed across an organization in less than thirty minutes and supports browser-based applications. (i.e., Cloud apps and SaaS). Conformity is well known for its enterprise-class management platform for SaaS and cloud applications (see "Conformity announces SaaS solutions," so it's really no surprise that this SSO product should be added to its portfolio, and it's to be expected that the company did a good job of it.

ConformityConnect is aimed directly at the small business built and optimized for organizations ranging in size from five to 3,000 employees. You can learn more at the company Web site but -- and this might be the clincher to get you to try it --Conformity is making the first fifty users of the ConformityConnect product free for any business organization. Smaller businesses with less than 50 employees can gain the full benefit of the product at no cost, and larger businesses can set up the product in thirty minutes and deploy it to fifty of their employees to ensure it meets their requirements before adopting the product and upgrading to the paid version. Visit here for all the details.

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