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Identity management market in turmoil

Graham Titterington | July 2, 2009
The market is now dominated by IBM, CA and Novell, while Oracle will no doubt ramp up its efforts once it has the Sun technology under its belt.

Identity management is the key to IT management suite selection

User identity is assuming greater significance in IT operations as the emphasis on compliance and data protection increases. The focus of access control used to be on ensuring that only authorised people could access corporate data systems, but now there is much more emphasis on fine-grained permissions that limit what each user can do with what data and on auditing actions to determine individual responsibility. This level of reporting is required by numerous compliance frameworks. Identity management has become part of business process enablement, in addition to its more traditional security role. It is playing an increasing role in IT management and administration. Central management suites offer vendors high-value sales in an environment where commoditisation is eroding the financial rewards of those vendors that supply the point components. This increasing role for identity management made HPs decision to leave the market in 2008 surprising. The vendor that wins in identity management will be in a strong position to sell its wider portfolio.

Identity management is tied to channel partner relationships

The complexity of deploying identity management products with the associated process changes means that most deployments are conducted with the help of consultants or systems integration specialists. These companies often have strong relationships with enterprises and are therefore important allies of the vendors. The key factor in winning customers is to win consulting partners. The current market-place battles are as much about winning channel partners as winning user organisations.

Graham Titterington is a principal analyst at Ovum, specialising in IT security and business continuity.


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