GRC and IAM - you can't separate it

At EIC 2008 I've presented our view on the relationship of GRC and IAM as well as our definition of the GRC market, the core results of our GRC market report 2008. Basically, the generic GRC tools we see emerging in the market are becoming more and more the business layer above the classical core IAM tools, e.g. provisioning, self service and some other feature areas.

I've been talking with a lot of users within the last few weeks. And what I've learned has proven that statement. The most important driver for IAM projects today is the need for defined, auditable processes around user and authorization lifecycle management. And that is about Governance, Risk Management, and Compliance.

To fulfill these requirements, you need a strong IAM foundation. But without a level above for a business-controlled authorization management, for layered attestation from the system up to the business level, for the management of business roles and for a business-centric auditing that won't fulfill the needs.

Given this it is no surprise that several vendors either integrate more and more of these features in their IAM products, some of them on a high level (Völcker), while others have acquired specialized vendors in both areas (Oracle, SAP, Sun).

Today it is not necessary to buy the IAM and the GRC products from the same vendor, especially because the GRC solutions are in their early stage. And due to the fact that IAM tools always will focus more on the IT level whilst GRC focuses on the business level I'm not sure whether they shall be really integrated. But one thing is sure: You will need both levels of tools to fully support the business requirements which are driving IAM today.



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