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Suite Platform You Have There

May 29, 2020

Fifteen years ago, the IAM market was dominated by suite vendors, Oracle, Sun, Novell, IBM, CA etc.  These companies offered solutions across the range of IAM, from access management, to lifecycle, to privilege delegation.  These solutions were powerful, but often took more cost and effort to deploy than they were worth.  The market reacted with a new breed of pure-play vendors who specialized in solving ONE IAM problem, with the benefit of being less taxing to deploy but also providing deeper capabilities in that one problem space.  This is where we saw the birth of niche solutions such as Okta, SailPoint, CyberArk and others.  These companies experienced fantastic growth for good reason, they solved the challenges of Access Management, Identity Governance and Privilege Management better than the suite vendors.  Overtime, the organizations buying these solutions have realized that, while these are discreet problems to solve, they are also related enough to need integration and interactions between them.  We saw this acknowledgment first through the rash of partnerships between leading Access, IGA and PAM vendors. Then more recently, we see formerly pure play vendors building or buying solutions in the adjacent IAM spaces. Recent moves by both Okta and CyberArk suggest that the pendulum is swinging back to suite vendors. As no one wants to market-off a story of going back to the future, we see the language being used to describe these new suites, has changed.

Today we read a lot about the next wave of IAM, how Identity solutions are becoming platforms. Why would you buy an identity solution when you can buy an identity platform? On face value, that statement is hard to disagree with. However, this definition of platform and who it benefits is greatly mis-used in my opinion.    

A software platform should provide these key components of Integration Logic, Process Logic and Decision Logic with an end-goal of making it faster to deploy and develop key business applications. The current new wave of Identity Platforms technically meet these criteria, but the value focus is backwards looking.  The only ones able to quickly develop or deploy new business applications are the software vendors themselves. No enterprise is going to develop business applications from these Identity Platforms, they likely already have an application platform.  The result is them having to manage about two separate platforms, both trying to be the center of the universe. This current trend just makes the dream of having fully integrated business processes and Identity even more precarious to pull off, as one side of this equation keeps growing larger and larger as its own platform.

At Clear Skye, our customers believe in the power of a platform.  An enterprise cloud platform, whose main value-add is to the end-customer, not our development teams. Providing IGA solutions on the Now Platform allows Identity processes to interact, natively, with other key business process like ITSM, CSM, GRC etc.  This is what the next wave of Identity looks like, not a redux of 2005.  We would love to show you how.

Watch our recent webinar replay here.

Written By

John Milburn

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