While attending the Cloud Identity Summit last week in Keystone Co. I noticed a usage trend that needs addressing.

Almost without exception, the discussions around identity and identity technology used two categories for defining market segments. The two categories are:

  • The Consumer
  • The Enterprise
These ambiguous categories are hindering moving forward with identity discussions and productivity. Every session I attended, I challenged the presenter to define these terms. Without exception, the confusion and ambiguity were rampant. For example, where are the people that don’t work for a large company defined here? They aren’t consumers, they aren’t an enterprise. Are you saying that a person at work is only recognized if they work for a large company? How large?

I don’t even want to go down the path of the Consumer word.


The Consumer


The Enterprise

As a result, I am proposing 6 alternate top level category definitions. These definitions are as follows:
  • Person
  • Group
  • Organization
  • Non-Profit Organization
  • Government
  • Program/Code
Of course there are sub categories to each of these definitions, but at least we have a set of of top level definitions that make sense.

Here are some icons I will use. Note that I use the accessory of a “hat” to distinguish the entity. This works for me, I often think of myself in a different hat depending on what role I am in.

little person guylittle grouplittle com guylittle org guy

little gov guylittle code guy