Monday, February 25, 2008

Why and Who of Identity Management

The one domain which is catching up on its business because of compliance and increased awareness of data security is, Identity. Identity, The word sounds pretty much technical and new but if you actually look at it, we have been doing identity management since quite a long time. If you look at the Election cards, Ration cards in India and SSN in US. All this essentially falls under Identity Management. Its just that There are now systems in place to manage identity for you.

You may get to hear different definitions of identity but core idea is to associate information about an entity in one unique identifier and representing the whole bunch of information in one unit which is called as identity. Once you have the information or data, Comes information management and comes Identity management in this case.

Identity Management starts from provisioning of identity and it also involves managing all the information of an identity, automating all the process associated with an identity, Making sure that identity has access to all the data he is authorized for, making sure that identity information is secured and is not misused.

With all the systems in place to manage identity, Identity Theft has become a major issue. This is not the risk to individual identity as data but this also risks individual's privacy, reputation and individual's assets. And that was the driving force behind Data Protection Act.

Traditionally Sun and IBM has dominated this market since long and Oracle is also joining the race now with its acquisitions in last few years. Also there are few players jumping into the domain making the Idm market competitive. Read Gartnet Magic Quadrant for User provisioning and Gartner Magic Quadrant for Web Access Management for more information about all the players in Idm domain.