Feet on the Street: A Look at Last Week’s Gartner IAM Summit

Last week, the SailPoint crew gathered in force at the Gartner IAM Summit in beautiful San Diego. While the show was a bit smaller than last year’s event in Orlando, there were lots of opportunities for lively interaction with analysts, partners, and customers.

One of the best aspects of shows like this is the high-quality conversations that happen everywhere – in the sessions, on the show floor, in restaurants and of course, the lobby bar! It’s interesting to see this kind of networking in action, built on many years of identity management history and experience. (Yes, we’re becoming an older and wiser bunch.)

It’s always tough to pick a leading theme for an event like this, but a couple of consistent threads ran throughout the show. First, a lot was said about how IAM is evolving (some said “maturing”) to address governance, risk and compliance requirements. One key shift pointed out by several Gartner analysts is the growing involvement of business users in IAM processes. Here’s a sampling of comments made in the sessions:

IAM needs governance. It needs to partner with the business community. It’s not just plumbing. – Earl Perkins

The goal of IT governance is defined as a business goal: It is not just IT-related. – Paul Proctor

Business representation is critical to managing IAM in day-to-day operations, including determining who should have access to what, defining roles and rules, access reviews and attestations, and so on. – Ray Wagner

Another over-arching theme during the show was the relationship between IAM and business process management (BPM). In Earl Perkins’ opening keynote, he highlighted BPM as an emerging IAM trend, noting that customers should begin to look for BPM functionality in IAM solutions. Paul Proctor reinforced this idea in his session “GRC Requirements for IAM,” stating that “IAM is increasingly viewed not just as a collection of infrastructure procedures for IT but as a means of enhancing and extending key business processes.”

We couldn’t agree more! Last week at the show, we announced our latest product release – IdentityIQ 4.0. This release extends our capabilities to “manage the business of identity” by fostering better teamwork across an organization by synchronizing identity business processes with IT controls (be sure to read the press release and what the media are saying).

Stay tuned for tomorrow’s blog, where I’ll share two case studies presented at the Gartner show by SailPoint customers in the insurance and managed care industries.