I’d like to put some thoughts about user identity management in the enterprise. In the beginning, you may think the topic is obvious. Enterprises already solved this problem long time ago. Even if your need to login into the specific enterprise system was significantly decreased, it sounds like a problem disappeared. You can think that directory management systems solved the problem. However, is it really true? I’d like to propose to review this problem with a different angle – social.
My guess is that next big competition in the enterprise will be around a user. I think, very soon, enterprise software vendors will learn lesson or two from web and social software. They will discover that the key to know who are your users, how they use systems, how they navigate between different tools and environments. And, of course how they connected between them. All social relationships in the enterprise became very interesting.
I hope you got my point… This is the effect of social networks and communities. For the moment, this information belongs to IT organization. Most of the enterprise vendors are seamlessly agreed to synchronize this information with the available LDAP or similar directory management tool. But, I think this situation can become different soon. My hunch is that first to discover this will be enterprise software companies pushing their social platforms to the enterprise. They will try to take ownership on directory services and expand it to the level of social networks. Another interesting problem is what technologies can be used to do that? My guess that possible candidates can be open standards, like FOAF, and future integration of them into enterprise systems. I think, very soon, we are going to discovered need in the federated identity management for enterprise social nets.
Now let me ask you, what about PLM? My assumption is that PLM is one of the potential originators of the federated identity management for enterprise social networks. Running processes around almost everything in the enterprise, can be a good reason to acquire enterprise social networking. If this task can be accomplished, PLM can drive significant advantages from managing people relationships, product and project belonging, etc. Who are alternative owners? My guess, ERP is a good candidate. They already own a big portion of enterprise cake, so they can do the same for identity management.
Take a look on long, but interesting video on digital identity.
Just my thoughts… I’d be interested to know your opinion on that.