Identity is more important than ever, but businesses are still not managing it very well in the midst of an architectural and policy transition, according to Gartner.
"Identity architecture is changing under our feet as we are trying to use it," Gartner analyst Bob Blakley told the Gartner Identity & Access Management (IAM) Summit 2012 in London.
However, in 2012, organisations can and should still increase their focus on identity and privacy protection, but ensure that identity projects deliver value quickly to the business as well as to IT.
In the coming year, organisations must get serious about privacy if they are to be successful, said Blakley.
Next, organisations should be aware of multiple identity-related standards, which are all likely to play some role in the future, with particular attention to the open standard for authorisation, OAuth.
Blakley expects OAuth to continue to evolve into a key identity-related standard. "See if and where OAuth fits or will fit into your enterprise," he told delegates at the IAM summit.
Identity privacy priorities
Modernising authorisation should be a priority in the coming months, which should help make identity systems easier to manage, said Blakley.
"In planning identity projects, think mobile first"
Bob Blakley, Gartner
Gartner sees mobility as one of several important macro-trends driving the IT market in 2012, and Blakley recommended that organisations embrace mobility as a key interaction model of the future. "In planning identity projects, think mobile first," he said.
Cleaning up Active Directory to manage identity based on attributes rather than hierarchy should be another priority for 2012, said Blakley, along with building an identity and access governance strategy and strengthening authentication and identity assurance.
In the longer term, businesses should prepare for the demise of authentication in its current form in the face of richer sources of more accurate data that can be used to improve the user experience.
Organisations should also consider outsourcing identity and access management as this may be more cost effective than doing it in-house and investigate integrating mobile device management.
"Cloud services will continue to drive evolution in identity and privacy markets and mobility will increasingly be a driver for change," said Blakley.