The Key is Identity Governance: Via the Cloud or In the Data Center

In almost every identity conversation I have, I emphasize that governance is the critical foundation of any ongoing cyber-security strategy. We’ve never strayed from this fundamental principle, even as the market started looking at a cloud-based delivery model (IDaaS).

As I recently wrote, the early focus on IDaaS was on access management capabilities primarily around single sign-on and password management capabilities. But identity management, whether delivered from the cloud or on-premises, has always contained multiple sub-markets – the predominant breakdown being between vendors providing access and authentication services and those providing administrative and governance capabilities. In the mad rush to cover all things identity-related that were delivered from the cloud, Gartner grouped all identity services from the cloud into one Magic Quadrant – even while acknowledging that there were distinct strengths among the various vendors’ offerings and focus.

At SailPoint we have always viewed IDaaS in the same vein as SaaS in general– that is, a new deployment model for an existing market. SaaS itself doesn’t redefine categories, it simply provides a new delivery model based on existing and proven market needs. Fortunately, the cloud identity hype and buzz is starting to sort itself out. In the most visible example of this, Gartner recently announced it is retiring the IDaaS Magic Quadrant primarily because IDaaS isn’t truly a separate market (which is what Magic Quadrant reports are intended to address) but is a delivery model for identity governance and access management.

In my view, this was an inevitable move and it was only a matter of time before the market sorted itself out. The move away from a separate report for IDaaS signals that we’re in the process of maturing to a more natural state. It’s a huge step forward for this market that enterprises can turn to a valuable tool like a Gartner Magic Quadrant, and better understand all the options they have for identity governance. And it will go a long way in helping companies understand that cloud-based identity governance solutions must address the same business challenges that on-premises solutions do, versus looking at an apples to oranges comparison with single sign-on and access management tools that, while providing value in a different vein, don’t address governance, compliance or provisioning.

For SailPoint, the future path is pretty clear – we remain entirely focused on identity governance whether it be delivered on-premises or from the cloud. And I can confidently say, IdentityNow, which is SaaS, is quickly becoming as powerful an identity governance solution as IdentityIQ, which is deployed in the data center.

The identity governance market will continue to grow, and as the market understanding around IDaaS solidifies, we see SaaS as a huge growth engine for the market – not only for our traditional enterprise customers, but for a whole new segment of the market who have found on-premises identity solutions beyond their grasp to digest. As we look towards the last quarter of 2016 and ahead into 2017, the future is bright. We’re continually committed to driving this market forward through constant innovations and an unparalleled commitment to customer success, no matter how our customers choose to procure and deploy our identity governance solutions. In our view, it’s one big bucket of opportunity for our customers, prospects and partners.