Guide to Identity Management

Identity management: still a young market

Although powerhouse players have emerged, the market is loaded with vendors (and innovation) with more on the way

by Network World Staff

The identity management market is still in its evolutionary stage, but progressing nicely. At this juncture major players have emerged and include BMC Software, CA, HP, IBM, Microsoft, Novell, Oracle and Sun. However those players are far from the only ones offering significant technology. Smaller vendors are vigorously bringing innovative new capabilities to market, particularly in the areas of role management, entitlement management and identity auditing. This in a market that so far has resisted much consolidation and counts more than 100 vendors among its members (with more on the horizon), according to the Burton Group.

IDC reports that total worldwide revenue for identity and access management reached almost $3 billion in 2006 and is forecast to reach more than $4.9 billion by 2011. The young market is divided among many players. For instance, about 12% of total worldwide revenue is the largest share a single vendor owns. IBM claimed that piece of the pie, and, even so, this from revenues between three Tivoli products, Identity Manager, Access Manager and Federated Identity Manager, IDC found. Overall, vendors that offer products that cover both the identity and access management functions do seem to be capturing more customers, IDC says. Until the market begins to mature and consolidation rules, partnerships will be the major thrust of the identity management market. Smaller vendors will compete against comprehensive wares through partnerships. Meanwhile watch for innovation to continue in hot identity-related areas such as consumer authentication and identity fraud protection.

Wintergreen Research also notes that the key area of development in the identity management market is the middleware that performs more advanced identity functions. This includes identity resolution and digital identity management. Identity resolution involves the ability to identify fraudulent people proactively, through correlating similar events across identity management systems in near realtime. Underlying that ability is digital identity management software. This allows companies to share identity- related information with each other or the government while not revealing the specific identities of people.

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