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Feet On The Street At Navigate ‘18: Part II

Navigate ’18 day two began with a deeper exploration of one of the new frontiers in identity governance courtesy of SailPoint’s Senior Security Strategist for the Office of the CTO, Mike Kiser (side note: his name may be familiar as one of our Mistaken Identity podcasters!). Mike provided a great analogy to describe the unstructured data problem that enterprises face today. Similar to space debris, data is orbiting enterprises at an alarming speed and volume. Like many of the floating objects in space, much of this data is harmless. However, a small portion of these floating objects can result in catastrophic damage, just as sensitive data lurking in unstructured systems can wreak havoc enterprises when left unmanaged. To solve this problem, enterprises must extend their identity governance programs to data stored in files before hackers find and exploit it. Read our recent blog post to learn more about these new frontiers.

Next up was Jeff Ma. You may recognize him as a member of the MIT Blackjack Team turned entrepreneur, author and predictive analytics expert. He took the stage to talk about what blackjack and big data have in common – yes, there is a commonality here! Using examples from basic strategy for blackjack, Jeff shared how to make better decisions using data, including helpful tips about reducing the opponent’s edge (like he did with counting cards), avoiding omission bias, ignoring those pesky gut feelings, and being able to separate the right decision from the right outcome. Sometimes, even with the data, there’s just bad luck. Through his many ventures and adventures, he learned to trust the process, and his track record of success demonstrates that it’s a highly effective strategy.

Once the morning keynotes ended, we split off into another round of breakout sessions that spanned deep dives into SailPoint’s products, case studies, and topics like connectivity and integrations. In one session, our Senior Vice President of Corporate Development Joe Gottlieb brought together the conference’s gold sponsors to discuss the future of identity. Leaders from Centrify, Column Information Security, CyberArk, Ping Identity and Radiant Logic shared some of the pressing issues the identity industry is facing today. One of the emerging themes the panelists discussed was how far the identity industry has come, and how far we still have to go. While identity is increasingly getting more attention in the broader security industry, we still have a long way to go in terms of board-level attention and a bigger piece of the security budget pie. The ultimate message though, was that we’re better together, which is why SailPoint places such great importance on our partner strategy. We all provide value as individual solutions, but when you bring together the best players in the industry, it’s our collective customers who truly win.

A new addition to Navigate ’18 came in the form of our illustrious emcees, also known as the Mistaken Identity Podcast duo of Mike Kiser and David Lee. In addition to their emcee duties, they also did a live recording of the Mistaken Identity Podcast. While I won’t spoil the conversation, you can look forward to tales from the leaderboard, the latest cybersecurity headlines, customer feedback on the conference (it’s too hot!) and a discussion of the keynote sessions.

Closing out the day, we held a series of afternoon keynote sessions. Among them, our CTO and CISO Darran Rolls shared what Kublai Khan has to do with identity management and blockchain.  He highlighted the two use cases for blockchain in identity governance: audit logging and governance approvals. These use cases represent the likely first step in identity governance built on distributed ledger technology. Blockchain is certainly an exciting emerging technology, we’ll see how if and how it will take hold in the enterprise. In the meantime, the SailPoint Labs are exploring how the nature of trust and identity-enabled technology will be affected by blockchain, and particularly the future of federated identity governance that it might enable.

Other keynote sessions to end the day included a look at the innovations SailPoint has unveiled in the last year, as well as what’s on the product roadmap in the coming year from our Vice President of Product Management, Rick Weinberg. Our partner Jim Wilhelm of KPMG also took the stage to share how leveraging adjacent technology initiatives can amplify the effectiveness of identity governance programs, something that has been a hot topic of discussion among customers.

While the sessions are enlightening, one of my favorite parts of Navigate is engaging with customers to hear how their identity governance journeys are going and how SailPoint is enabling their businesses. This year, our customers shared an eagerness to extend their identity governance programs to data stored in files, which is top of mind as GDPR approaches. They also shared how SailPoint’s partner ecosystem is helping them to succeed through integrations, enabling them to leverage new technologies and automate, ultimately saving time and money. However, my favorite success stories every year focus on SailPoint’s people. Whether it’s the marked improvement in customer service new customers have experienced since switching to SailPoint, or how their customer success managers go above and beyond on a daily basis to ensure their happiness, I’m always thrilled to hear how our commitment to customer success is shining for our customers.

The fun isn’t over yet. We always end our Navigate conferences with an unforgettable party, and this year is no exception. We’re taking the celebration global with the Passport to Party. Follow along at the official hashtag #SPNav18 to catch a glimpse of the festivities – we’ll be posting pictures on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn as well and continuing to share more from Navigate ’18 on social media and the blog.