Stop Using the "C" and the "E" Word

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

KuppingerCole PLUS

Get access to the whole body of KC PLUS research including Leadership Compass documents for only €800 a year

Stay Connected

KuppingerCole on social media

Subscribe to our Podcasts

KuppingerCole Podcasts - listen anywhere

How can we help you

Send an inquiry

Call Us +49 211 2370770

Mo – Fr 8:00 – 17:00