As I sit here, winging my way back to Austin from the Gartner IAM Summit last week in London, I can’t help but reflect on how much the identity market has evolved since SailPoint attended the first European IAM Summit in 2008. In addition to the fact that the attendees at the conference were vibrant, interested and full of questions – which I believe is an indication that people are back in the buying mode – the most obvious difference was the level of awareness and understanding that the attendees had for identity governance (or IAM intelligence, as Gartner likes to refer to it).
Two years ago, it was difficult to find many people who clearly understood the difference between what they were getting from their provisioning vendor and a true identity governance solution, so we spent a lot of time on basic education. This year, people were much better educated coming into the conference. They were keen to understand the nuances and differentiators between identity governance offerings and actively sought out vendors like SailPoint. In fact, identity governance was featured prominently in many of the conference speakers’ sessions in one form or another. One Gartner analyst even told me, “Identity governance is one of the hottest topics at the show this year.”
It’s taken a bit of time, but the fog is definitely clearing on the identity landscape, and it looks like 2010 may be the year that identity governance comes into its own.