Looks like IAM and GRC is all about roles, doesn't it? Well, for the sake of simplicity it does. Simplicity you ask, having had trouble defining these in a year-long struggle and ending up with worthless collections of access rights and user profiles due to the latest merger and the finance -crisis consolidation?

You have pretty good company as many organizations face these problems. A few years back when I worked for CA, a good portion of the IAM projects also included considerable amounts of work to be done on roles. VAAU, at these times the preferred role-mining specialist in the market, helped a lot getting this work done, especially in the early phases of the projects.  As companies are comparable to living organisms, they tend to change over time (sometimes rapdily), thus affecting the roles and profiles user might be mapped to.

Early role-mining only provided insight to the current situation the snapshot or analysis was made, leading to frustration and incorrect roles once the IAM system was about to be delpoyed. Vendors like former VAAU (now with SUN) and the recently acquired Eurekify (now with CA) learned their lessons, providing consistency checking and automated role-monitoring as new key-features. This evolved the early role-mining tools from providing fuzzy "best-before" role data into helpful GRC supporting tools, that constantly check if former analysis is still valid. One example: if members of a certain group of user sharing the same role get the similar exception or add-on to their access rights, Eurekify would suggest to make this exception a part of the role. This helps to manage expceptions before they become a labyrinth while making the life of admins and auditors easier.

Speaking of "easier"... during my recent briefing with a former Eurekify EMEA VP and now CA employee, the question came up on how CA will leverage the power of Eurekifys tools in their customer base. I was told that both existing IAM customers - regardless of which vendor they chose - will remain to be primary focus of the team, as the above mentioned role-management and role-auditing capabilities are available for all major IAM products in the market. I was pleased to hear that CA will continue to sell Eurekify technology without limitations - and was even more happy to hear that integration will extend the available webservice interfaces. 

Keeping this open mind and easy way to dsicover, integrate and manage will definitly be advantageous to CA partner community, providing audit, role-mining and compliance services with the former Eurekify tools. I am looking forward to what happens next regarding the role-management tools and offerings - and also to what and when CA merges the Eurekify capabilities into their GRC and IAM tools!