I spent 2 years of my life working as an Identity Management (IdM) consultant a long time ago, when clouds were related to weather and SAAS sounded like the Scandinavian Airlines. The environment changed an now more and more companies are moving to the cloud relying on applications living outside their firewalls, but there’s something that didn’t change: The need to provision user accounts. This is the main reason why I will like to spend some of my free time the next months trying to build an IdM solution for the cloud on the cloud.
The origin of the problem
Let me give you an easy example. I can bet that you have accounts in one or more of the following applications: email (google, yahoo, hotmail), Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, eBay, etc. In all those applications at least you provided your email address, username, first name, last name, password, etc. What will happen if you want to change your name? You will need to go to each application and change it. This is not a real world example as it doesn’t cover not even 10% of what IdM is meant for (It doesn’t make too much sense using IdM for personal use), but the fact is that people use different applications and have different accounts in each of them.
The real problem
Companies have employees, customers and providers and in many cases each of them need access to different applications in order to be able to do their work. The challenges the company then face are: