Whitepaper

Identity for the Business: Identity Fabrics supporting the Digital Transformation

Business is changing fundamentally. Digital Services are the new normal, both as autonomous business models and accompanying physical goods. The connected vehicle and the changes in transportation illustrate this perfectly well. Businesses require a new type of infrastructure for managing their digital identities in new digital services, well beyond humans. Identities of things and devices become part of what Identity Management needs to deliver, and Identity Fabrics are the paradigm for architecting an Identity Management for the Digital Business.

Martin Kuppinger

mk@kuppingercole.com

Commissioned by Accenture Security

1 Introduction

Over the past years, the Digital Transformation of businesses has gained further momentum. Digital Transformation has expanded from the early industries such as retail and finance to virtually any industry, specifically driven by connected things and what commonly is referred to as IoT, the Internet of Things. Identity Management needs to adapt to this change. Modern Identity Management must both evolve to support all types of identities and their relationships and integrate the capabilities into one model for consistent delivery of identity services, across all areas.

In today’s hyperconnected businesses in digitally transforming (or already transformed) businesses, employees, business partners, customers, consumers, devices and things are all tightly interwoven. They are connected to each other, and Identity Management must serve this.

Beyond that, with the digital identities moving to the core of the businesses, IAM is shifting from an IT exercise and a supporting function for the business to its core. In the Digital Transformation, everything is centered around digital identities, the digital customer and the services they are consuming. In Digital Services, the customer is at the center of attention.

As a consequence, this is not just a technical evolution, where new types of IAM technology come into play, but the evolution must go hand-in-hand with the business transformation. In other words: To succeed, it requires both the knowledge on business cases and business transformation, and the ability for delivering and implementing a modern IAM. This changes the requirements on the vendors, consultancies, and system integrators involved with IAM, from a technical play to a business play. Only when understanding the business cases and their transformation can the transformation of IAM will be done right.

There is an answer to the question of how IAM needs to look like in the future: The concept of Identity Fabrics is a paradigm that focuses on an integrated set of services, serving all types of identities and their access to any type of service. It is shifting away from a tool and technology perspective, which is common for today’s IAM, and towards a capability-based view.

To serve the needs of business in the Digital Transformation and when creating new digital services, there is an important new capability that Identity Fabrics deliver: Beyond managing existing applications as well as new SaaS (Software as a Service) services, they come with a set of APIs (Application Programming Interfaces), i.e. technical interfaces that expose the Identity Services required by new digital services.

Amongst the very first vendors in the market to consequently pick up the concept of Identity Fabrics is Accenture Memority. They provide an IDaaS solution with a broad range of IAM capabilities, full support for all types of identities including things in the IoT, and a consistent, comprehensive Identity API layer. Thus, Accenture Memority benefits from the global network of resources and the strengths Accenture can offer in their understanding of business challenges and the transformation of business towards new digital services. They understand themselves as a provider of an Identity Fabric that connects all types of users to all types of services.

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