Identity federation is a key component of an identity management strategy that allows organisations to share secure digital identities outside corporate networks and interact with partners.
The technology has allowed Nationwide to introduce new products more quickly and has made it easier for independent brokers to do business with the building society, said Jim Gay, associate vice-president of technology solutions at Nationwide Services Company, the IT services division of Nationwide.
RSA last week introduced Federated Identity Manager, a standalone product it said should make it easier for organisations to implement a system to securely exchange trusted identities.
This type of product addresses a crucial business problem, according to Dan Blum, vice-president at analyst firm Burton Group.
"Federated identity is a real business need today, but customers often have difficulty installing full-scale web access management solutions or upgrading to the latest release of a web access management product just for one federation project," he said.
"Standalone, or free-standing federation products can allow easier implementation of individual federation projects."