Feet on the Street at Gartner IAM Summit: What about the end user?

This week marks the 9th annual Gartner IAM Summit – I’m not sure where the time has gone, but it’s clear that the industry has come a long way (and still has farther to go). What always excites me about this show is that it is arguably the largest IAM-focused event where the SailPoint team can have in-depth conversations with our customers and prospects, as well as partners, analysts and other vendors in the space. It’s a great opportunity to compare notes about the current state of the market and discuss where we expect it to go over the next few years.

The show kicked off with a very clever keynote, “Stop the Finger Pointing: The IAM Role Ecosystem,” featuring Gartner analysts (Felix Gaehtgens, Brian Iverson, Lori Robinson, and Steve Krapes) playing the roles of an IT vendor, consultant, implementer, and IAM leader. It provided a lively role-playing discussion about how these stakeholders need to work together to ensure the success of an IAM program, while also highlighting how they can be at odds with one another.

While I thoroughly enjoyed this debate, and couldn’t agree more that the four stakeholders need to be fully aligned for customers to be successful, I do think it was missing the perspective of the business end user. By now, we are all well aware that the business user’s role in the management of identities has changed significantly over the years and shows no signs of stopping. For any IAM program to be successful it must engage the end user. This is particularly important as the digitalization of the business massively drives up the scale and complexity of IT.

Representation from the business is critical to managing IAM in day-to-day operations. One could argue that the IAM leader should represent the end user in this scenario, but their goals and challenges are often very different. I believe that no matter how great the vendor, consultant, implementer and IAM leader work together, if there is not buy-in and participation from the business user community, the IAM program will certainly not be a success.

What are you thoughts? Are we already forgetting to include the business in IAM programs again?