Securing the Digital World

Why Marketing, HR and Finance Should Have a Bigger Say in Your IDaaS Strategy than You May Think

Mar 16, 2016 | by Jeff Carpenter |

My colleague Darren Platt recently weighed in on the undeniable upward trend of organizations moving toward Identity as a Service, or IDaaS. While only 15% of organizations report having a cloud-based pure play for their identity solutions, more than 55% are saying they have a mix of cloud and traditional. Cloud-hosted identity solutions appear to be here to stay. And that's why when planning your identity future you had better assemble a team of your best IAM strategists, IT personnel, cloud architects

Wait, what? Yes, that's right. According to a new IDaaS survey from Capgemini and RSA, and designed by analyst firm KuppingerCole, strategic decisions around moving certain identity functions to the cloud are being shaped increasingly by key business line owners. Fully one quarter of the 831 respondents to the IDaaS survey came from sales, marketing, HR and finance executive roles. These people obviously want a voice. They are seeking ways to reach new audiences faster and with more agility than traditional IAM solutions can provide. And they want to partner with IT to do that.

There are basically two reasons for this. The first is agility. If you are a business line owner you want to get stuff done. Sometimes the quickest, easiest way to do this is to use a cloud provider (SaaS, PaaS, IaaS). But you immediately run into a challenge in that users logging onto these platforms need some type of identity. Plus, the organization needs some type of assurance that users are who they say they are. IDaaS solutions can act as identity providers delivering all manner of services (authentication, single sign-on, etc.) to the requesting party, i.e. your organization. This essentially off boards the management of identities to a third party and allows business line owners to focus on the business. How many of us have logged into a mobile app with our social media credentials just so we didn't have to undergo the laborious task of creating a new identity. Welcome to age of IDaaS!

The second reason is the strong desire to reach beyond the four walls of the organization and embrace, collaborate and interact with new audiences. These audiences include partners, customers, vendors, suppliers and more. The traditional on-premise IAM nostrum is ill equipped to provide the type of identity assurance, enrollment experience and consumer-level convenience required to generate a meaningful and profitable end-user experience. And with 80% of survey respondents reporting consumer IAM is critical to their business, IT should be seriously looking at IDaaS solutions as a means of facilitating these interactions.

Business enablement is finally driving the organization and that may be good news for all of us. What we can do is start involving business line owners as part of the strategic planning for our identity futures. We invite you to further explore these and other findings in a full copy of the 2016 IDaaS survey results.