Friday, June 15, 2007

It's a Journey - Not a Destination

OK, I know you thought it would never end but finally, the conclusion of my whitepaper "Tenets of Identity Management". Part #1 of the "Tenets of Identity Management" podcast is posted on the Quest web site. Part #2 and Part #3 are also now available.

“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."

Someone on your team is responsible for the identity management project timeline. This timeline dictates that, on a certain date, the project will be done. The problem is that the project will never be done. Period.

If your identity management project actually does end, then you, or your successor, will likely be starting a new one within 10 years. Why? Because all of the same mistakes will occur all over again. Internal developers will begin building new applications with their own authentication and authorization stores without thinking to re-use the existing corporate identity stores. Or, someone will purchase new enterprise applications without thinking about identity and whether the application support industry standards; thus, more synchronization will be necessary.

Kicking off—and finishing—an identity management project is simply one point in the continuum of your company’s life. Identity management needs to continue for as long as the company exists. You need to set standards, and build guidance and awareness across the company about your identity management strategy, the problems it solves and its business benefits. The project may conclude, but the problems never cease.

“The woods are lovely, dark and deep, but I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep.” Congratulations on finishing your project, but don’t even think of going to sleep!

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