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  • 8/22/2019 Digital identities and the open business


    Copyright Quocirca 2013

    Bob TarzeyQuocirca Ltd

    Tel : +44 7900 275517


    Rob BamforthQuocirca Ltd

    Tel: +44 7802 175796


    Digital identities and the open business

    Identity and access management as a driver for business growth

    February 2013

    Identity and access management (IAM) systems are today used by the majority of

    European enterprises. Many of these are still installed on-premise but increasingly they

    are being supplemented by the use of on-demand IAM services (IAMaaS). The overall

    uptake represents a big increase from when Quocirca last surveyed the market in


    Whilst IAM is important for managing the access rights of increasingly mobile

    employees, three other major drivers have encouraged businesses to invest despite the

    tight economic conditions: the opening up of more and more applications to external

    users, the growing use of cloud based services and the rise of social media. The ultimate

    aim with all three is to nurture new business processes, thereby finding and exploiting

    new opportunities.

    This report presents new research into the use and benefits of IAM and the relationship

    it has with these three drivers. The research is based on over three hundred interviews

    with senior IT managers in medium sized to large organisations in a range of business

    sectors across Europe. The report should be of interest to anyone wanting to better

    serve all types of users, whilst still keeping control over applications and data.

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    Digital identities and the open businessIdentity and access management as a driver for business growth

    Effective identity and access management (IAM) is seen as an essential tool for enabling open interaction between a business

    and its users, be they consumers, employees or users that are employees of other businesses, such as partners or customers.

    Many businesses now have

    more external users than

    internal ones

    The majority of businesses now open up at least some of their applications to external users,

    with 58% saying they transact directly with users from other businesses and/or consumers.

    The scale of the business processes they are running that require this will often mean the

    number of external users exceeds internal ones. This has led to a rise in the uptake of IAM

    systems with advanced capabilities to handle multiple types of users.

    Advanced IAM also helps

    organisations embrace

    cloud services and social


    97% of organisations that are enthusiastic about cloud-based services have deployed IAM in

    general and 65% are using IAM-as-a-service (IAMaaS); only 26% of cloud avoiders use any

    form of IAM. The single-sign-on (SSO) capability of such services acts as a broker and a

    central place to enforce usage policy between users and both on-premise and on-demand

    applications. Many businesses also recognise the value of social media, with the top

    motivation being to identify and communicate with potential customers.

    Deployment of IAM has

    increased markedly in the

    last three years

    When Quocirca last researched the IAM market in 20091, 25% had some form of IAM in

    place, with 52% saying it was planned although, for many, those plans were delayed.

    However, regardless of the ensuing tight economic conditions, 70% have now deployed IAM.

    For 27% this is a totally on-premise system, however, 22% have already chosen to use a pure

    on-demand system, whilst 21% have a hybrid deployment.

    The number of sources of

    identity is extending well

    beyond in-house directories

    Active Directory is the most widely used primary source of identity for employees (68% of

    respondents). For users from customer and partner organisations the most common sources

    of identity are their own directories (1112%). Secondary sources include the membership

    lists of professional bodies, for example legal and medical practitioners (78%) and

    government databases (23%). 12% use social media as a primary source of identity for

    consumers, 9% say it is secondary. These fairly low use rates of alternative sources suggest

    an untapped business opportunity, perhaps because currently deployed IAM tools do not

    facilitate it.

    IAM eases a number of

    management challenges

    The top IT management challenge eased by IAM is the enforcement and management of

    access policy. However, it is also about improving the user experience by providing easy

    federated access to multiple applications and enabling user self-service. Whilst there are

    many benefits for businesses to be gained from effective IAM it seems likely that IT

    departments are under-selling these benefits.

    The benefits of IAMaaS, in

    particular, are widely


    The potential of IAMaaS is widely recognised even by those with pure on-premise IAM

    deployments. Lower management and ownership costs along with improved employee

    productivity top the list, with ease of integrating external users not far behind. Those who

    make extensive use of cloud-based services are especially likely to recognise the benefits of

    IAM in general and select IAMaaS in particular.


    Having an identity and access management system in place is now seen as an imperative by many businesses to achieving a wide

    range of IT and business goals. Those organisations that lack effective IAM are likely to lag behind their competitors in many areas

    as more and more business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) transactions move online, cloud services become

    the mainstream source of IT applications and services for many businesses and social media takes centre stage as a source ofidentity.

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    Introduction identity as the new perimeter

    Identity and access management (IAM) is all about a

    business authenticating and understanding its users.

    This includes its employees, but also the growing

    number of external users that a given business allows to

    access its applications (Figure 1), both those installed

    on-premise and those that are subscribed to as on-

    demand services. Identity and access management

    (IAM) systems are increasingly being seen as the bridge

    between users and applications; either of which can be

    inside or outside of the firewall that has traditionally

    been the boundary of a given organisations IT systems.

    This has led to the concept ofthe identity perimeter2.

    Some organisations say they no longer even have office-

    based employees, with all employees being consideredas mobile (just 8% said they had only office-based

    users). However, the biggest change is the degree to

    which consumers and the employees of customer

    organisations are being given access; 58% of the

    businesses surveyed have now opened up applications

    to users from customer organisations, consumers or

    both (the figure of 58% is derived by adding together

    the numbers for those who interact with consumers and

    those that interact with users of customer organisations

    and subtracting from the total those who say they

    interact with both). The main motivator is to transact

    directly with these external users online (Figure 2).

    IAM is also about making sure all users have convenient

    access to the resources they require, whilst maintaining

    appropriate levels of security and privacy and ensuring

    compliance requirements can be met. It is not about the

    creation and storage of identities per se. As this report

    will go on to show, effective IAM enables the federated

    use of a wide range of existing sources of identity. It also

    provides the balance between opening applications up

    to mobile and external users whilst making sure those

    applications, and the data to which they provide access,

    is appropriately protected.

    The degree of transaction with external users varies by

    sector. With growth in use of online banking, financial

    services organisations are the most likely to be

    interacting with consumers, with 54% already doing so,

    along with government organisations, 49% of which are

    already transacting online with citizens. Telcos (as

    service providers) lead when it comes to direct

    interaction with users in business customer

    organisations with 48% doing so already, with

    manufacturers coming in second at 42% with their

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    complex supply chains. The profile of interaction is

    likely to change over time as the benefit of direct

    interaction is increasingly recognised and more and

    more products and services are sold directly.

    Beyond the opening up of applications to externalusers, there are two other major drivers for IAM.

    First, there is the increasing acceptance and take up

    of cloud services (Figure 3). The research

    unambiguously shows that those organisations that

    are making wide use of cloud services have also

    invested in IAM (see later section on I