Controlling who or what can access critical business systems and data may seem like an obvious thing to do, but the continual cyber-attacks and breaches indicate that this is not being done very effectively by many organizations. It suggests that more attention needs to be paid to Identity & Access Management (IAM) and that most organizations need to raise their game.

IAM is a core area of focus for KuppingerCole, so in the next few editions of KC Navigator, we will look at different aspects of this extremely important topic, and provide links to all the content available to help you to improve your IAM capabilities.

The reason many organizations are struggling to manage identities and control access to key assets is that it can be a complex and challenging task, especially in the light of the proliferation of identities and digital resources in the digital era as organizations adopt virtual environments, move into the cloud, add Edge computing systems, and adopt DevOps tools and processes.

The most common challenges organizations of every size are typically facing include data protection, integrating IAM technologies with legacy systems as well as covering cloud services, shadow IT, regulatory compliance, data breaches, DevOps environments and IoT devices.

IAM is multi-faceted and involves a combination of policies, processes, and technologies to enable organizations to manage and control digital identities and their entitlements to access company systems and data. The task is made even more challenging by the fact that many organizations are no longer dealing only with IAM in the context of employees on-prem.

Nowadays employees need to access corporate systems and data from anywhere and almost at any time, but at the same time these assets are also increasingly being accessed by partners, contractors, and even customers. And humans are no longer the only ones with digital identities.

As the world becomes increasingly digital and automated, machines, devices, and even processes now also have digital identities. These identities and their associated access entitlements also have to be managed and controlled. IAM, therefore, has never been more important or challenging!

Digital identities are at the core of Digital Transformation, Information Security and Privacy. It has never been more important for enterprises to ensure they have the capability to manage identities effectively in a rapidly changing business, regulatory and IT environment.

— Warwick Ashford, Senior Analyst, KuppingerCole.

Because we understand how important­­­­­­­­ it is to get IAM right, and because we are committed to helping your business succeed, KuppingerCole has a great deal of content in a variety of formats available.


For some high-level orientation on the topic, have a look at this Leadership brief on The 5 Biggest IAM Myths, and then for an overview of the main trends to help businesses evolve their Identity and Access Management (IAM) strategies to meet new, emerging and future requirements, have a look at this Leadership Brief on the 10 Top Trends in IAM

Another useful discussion around trends looks at Trends in Authentication and Authorization, both important aspects of IAM.

For a further discussion on the benefits of adapting the structure of IAM organizations so that they are based on a service capability model, have a look at this Leadership Brief on How to set up your IAM organization.

Organization demand for a blueprint to design and implement efficient and durable IAM architectures that meet current and future requirements, need to follow a sustainable yet dynamic architectural design. Read more on this topic is this report on an Architecture Blueprint for Identity and Access Management.


Access governance is an important component of IAM, and for a discussion on why a new risk-based and policy-based approach is needed to reduce the cost, effort, and complexity of overseeing and enforcing access entitlements, including access reviews and recertification, have a look at this Advisory Note on Redefining Access Governance: A broader perspective.

For a description of best practice approaches towards the right data model, efficient processes, and an adequate organization for implementing role management as the foundation for achieving administrative efficiency and maintaining regulatory compliance, have a look at this Advisory Note on Enterprise role management done right.

Big Data in the context of IAM is both a challenge and an opportunity. For some guidelines for building a coherent strategy, have a look at this Advisory Note on Enterprise Big Data IAM – Challenges and Opportunities.


The KC Master Class: Identity & Access Management (IAM) Essentials is designed to deliver general knowledge on a foundational piece for security, compliance, and digitization, and the tools to use for your organization’s advantage.

Our analysts will guide you through each chapter to pass the final exam and become a KuppingerCole certified Master of Identity and Access Management.


Our analysts have blogged extensively on IAM-related topics. Have a look at the list below, and choose the topics that are most interesting or relevant:


If you would prefer to listen to our analysts talking about IAM-related topics, listen to these Analyst Chats on how and why to Get Rid of IAM Siloes, on IAM Awareness in Daily Life, on why IAM Requires a Solid Process Framework, on why There is More to IAM Processes than JML, and on Policy-based and Dynamic Authorization Management.

You can also listen to presentations by our analysts and other experts on IAM-related topic. Look through the list below and chose the ones most appropriate to your business and where you are in your IAM journey:


Have a look at this list of webinars and choose those with that cover the most relevant aspects of IAM for your organization:


KuppingCole has written many whitepapers on IAM-related topics with reference to particular vendors in this market and their offerings. Have a look through the list for topics that are most relevant to your business:

Tech Investment

For organizations looking to make initial or further investments in the IAM market, for insights around  the leaders in innovation, product features, and market reach for Access Management on-premises, cloud, and hybrid platforms, have a look this Leadership Compass on Access Management.

For an overview of various IAM solutions markets, have a look at these Leadership Compasses on Enterprise Authentication Solutions, IAM/IAG Suites, Identity Provisioning, and Access Governance & Intelligence.

Further orientation on the IAM-related technology market can be found in these Market Compass reports on Data Governance Platforms, Dynamic Authorization Management, Providers of Verified Identity, IGA Solutions for ServiceNow Infrastructures, and Decentralized Identity: Blockchain ID & Self-Sovereign Identity Solutions.

Guidance on questions to ask vendors, criteria to select your vendor and requirements for successful deployments can be found in these Buyer’s Compasses on Access Management, Identity Governance & Administration (IGA), Identity-as-a-Service (IDaaS), and Decentralized Identity.

Organizations investing in technologies to support IAM can also have a look at some of the related technology solutions that we have evaluated: