Kantara and the Pillars of Identity Relationship Management

Or IRM as it’s going to be known. Which is odd as IRM has another meaning for me, Information Rights Management, which is an area of technology I know well. But getting back to Kantara and their new initiative, which is to look at ‘evolving’ identity away from its enterprise roots and mind-set to a more internet capable organism. If we want to keep on the theme of evolution, then as you know, natural selection is the mechanism of evolution, so there must be selection pressures to make online identity ‘evolve’. And certainly there are environmental changes afoot.

To say a lot of us use the internet these days, is a bit of an understatement – 2.7 billion users at the last count. People are now pretty savvy at using the internet too, most likely thanks to user centred design and platforms like Facebook, et. al. which were built for us to play with. I know this is a generalisation and there are still a lot of people who aren’t online, or who struggle with the whole use of the internet, but it’s a moving train and we need to get on it at some point. So technology follows suit, pressurised by how people behave, human behaviour pulling technology after it, rather than technology trying to dictate human behaviour (as is attested by many a failed technology application).

So Kantara have recognised this and have started an initiative looking at the needs of modern identity platforms, in light of mass internet use, the extended enterprise and the complexity of online interactions. They have called this initiative, Identity Relationship Management and have created a set of ‘pillars’, each of which describe how the new technology paradigm should be approached.

When I first saw this I was very bolstered. Avoco Identity have been working in the emergent area of consumer (or human, or citizen, or user centric) identity management for a number of years now – our own evolutionary path into this area is an interesting one…It was extremely refreshing to see that an organisation like Kantara, who represent the industry and are on the frontiers of innovation, an example being UMA (user managed access – much more on that in another post soon) are starting to really look at the requirements needed for an identity platform for the modern era.

Avoco Identity are particularly pleased because it condones our own design choices, by that I mean:

Elastic scalability – this means you can use a platform to  service 1 to a billion+ users

Consumer relevant – this is a myriad and multi-layered discussion and utilises all sorts of technology to seamlessly fit with human expectations

Adaptable and intelligent – again this comes in many forms, but the premise is that the platform works with you and understands your behaviour and your internal policies, whilst (and this is just as important) also balancing the policies of the service you are interacting with

Without borders – no modern IAM solution can really be contained within a boundary. I’m sure there will always be situations where that sort of platform is required, but for business to expand and take advantage of how their employees (BYOD), partners and ultimately customers operate, they need to work outside of boundaries.

I will talk about lots of the above in much more detail in later posts, but if you agree with the tenets of the Kantara IRM initiative, you can add your voice here.

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