IAM in the Cloud Drives Channel Opportunities, Challenges

By Michael Vizard  |  Print this article Print
identity access management services

NEWS ANALYSIS: Many IT organizations are desperate to leverage identity access management services in the cloud to help regain control of their environments.

"The on-boarding process when it comes to identity management can take forever," said Maripuri. "Lighthouse developed technologies to automate that process."

Eventually, those identity management services will be exposed both through the IBM Softlayer cloud and the IBM MADP platform that currently provides mobile application management capabilities delivered via the Fiberlink Communications arm of IBM.

Despite those efforts, however, FishNet Security's Whitney said many vendors fail to take into account the simple fact that most customers want a single IAM solution that can be as broadly applied as possible. As such, FishNet Security has been reselling an IAM service developed by Centrify.

"The customer really only wants to have to manage one IAM solution," Whitney said. "A lot of vendors don't seem to appreciate that."

Bill Mann, senior vice president of products and chief product officer at Centrify, said that even though the number of IAM services in the cloud is rapidly expanding, there's a major difference between IAM offerings that were built from the ground up for the cloud, versus IAM implementations that were originally built to be deployed on-premise and are just now being redeployed into the cloud.

"One of things that has limited the adoption of IAM was the need for all the professional services required to make it work," said Mann. "A service built from the ground up for cloud lets organizations manage identity for and from anywhere via a single pane of glass."

IAM services in the cloud are clearly expanding a security opportunity for solution providers in the channel by reducing the complexity associated with deploying IAM solutions. The challenge facing solution providers now is finding a way to seize that opportunity before some other solution provider beats them to it.

Michael Vizard has been covering IT issues in the enterprise for 25 years as an editor and columnist for publications such as InfoWorld, eWEEK, Baseline, CRN, ComputerWorld and Digital Review.