Pace of identity adoption picks up

Identity management software can be a challenge to deploy, but that hasn't deterred a lot of IT organizations. New research finds that the market for these products is hotter than previously anticipated.

Demand for identity management software has taken off faster than some researchers had expected. And Microsoft is one company that has rushed to market in the past year with products to meet that demand.

According to one recent study on the identity management software market, revenues will soar from $738 million worldwide this year to $10.2 billion by 2008. The Radicati Group Inc., of Palo Alto, Calif., said those figures are up substantially from its findings a year ago.

In 2003, the market size and forecast for the year were $551 million and growing to $5 billion by 2007. The study's author, Sara Radicati, the firm's president and CEO, said the technologies are selling better than previously thought, which is somewhat surprising given their overall complexity and the amount of work it takes to install them.

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gives a company a unified view of an individual user across the entire enterprise. The Radicati study segments the market into four parts. It considers full suites, provisioning tools, secure access and authentication tools and federated identity products.

Full suites include products such as directory services, provisioning tools, secure access and authentication tools and sometimes federated identity elements. Among the vendors in this market are Computer Associates International Inc., Hewlett-Packard Co., IBM, Microsoft, Novell Inc. and Sun Microsystems Inc.

Radicati said the popularity of full-suite vendors is growing the fastest. Novell and Sun are leading the pack here, but this year, Microsoft has a slight edge over Novell, she said. "They've added a lot of pieces," she said.

Provisioning tools offer user life-cycle account management. Vendors offering these products include BMC Software Inc., Beta Systems Software AG and M-Tech Information Technology Inc.

Examples of secure access and authentication vendors include Entrust Inc., Netegrity Inc., RSA Security Inc. and Oblix Inc. Federated identity vendors include Ping Identity Corp. and TruLogica Inc. (now part of HP).

The ID management market is young and activity, in terms of acquisitions and development, is changing all the time, she said. "There are a lot of large companies buying end-to-end ID management products," she said. "Small companies are finding it easier to enter with provisioning and secure access software."

Radicati said enterprises are installing identity management software as a means to cut costs and gain security benefits, and not necessarily to comply with regulations. This is expected to change in the next year, and government regulations will play a larger role in IT's decision to install identity management software.

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