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Mailbag: Predictions for ID mgmt. in 2006

Jan 09, 20062 mins
Access ControlNetworking

* Readers chime in with their predictions for ID mgmt. in 2006

Just before Christmas, I asked you to send me your thoughts on what happened in the identity management world during 2005 and what might happen in 2006. The response was heartening, but if I try to publish them all it’ll be 2007 before we finish! Instead, I’ll try to summarize as best I can.

But first a downer. Quest/Vintela’s (and formerly Microsoft’s identity management guy) Jackson Shaw wonders if 2006 will be the year that people will wake up and realize that identity management “is only the aspirin to the headache we have engineered for ourselves. What are we (end-users, companies, ISVs and platform vendors) doing to solve the root cause of that headache – interoperable authentication, authorization and identity protocols? Identity management is still meta-directory on steroids except we have built our house of cards even higher now.” A downer looking back, certainly, but looking forward it could be a harbinger.

One of CA’s predictions for 2006, for example, is that security defenses will converge. According to the company: “2006 will mark the beginning of a security market shift as various security elements which were once dealt with separately, such as threat and identity management, begin to ‘talk to one another’ for even tighter security controls.”

Sun’s Mark Dixon offered: “2006 will bring new methods for more quickly and easily implementing identity management solutions.” (I think this will require more interoperability.)

Digital ID World’s Eric Norlin chimed in with, “The divide between user-centric and enterprise identity management is the No. 1 conversation in 2006.” He adds that what he calls “URL-based identity” (think Sxip, LID, OpenID, iNames, etc.) will “accomplish some interoperability tests in 2006, gain some traction and stop just short of a critical mass.” But it will push the cause of interoperability.

I’m heartened to see that these “predictions” fall nicely into line with two of the resolutions I promulgated last week: convergence of standards and convergence of architecture. Let’s hope we’re all right.