The really hot summer is finally here after a long, cold winter and a short spring – Thanks Global Warming.

This being the halfway point of 2011, I figured it would be wise to see how our predictions, published on January 3, 2011 have been faring thus far.

checks and balancesI figured this would at a minimum be a very amusing exercise, I hope you concur.  An unexpected outcome of the exercise is that I am now intrigued about predicting and speculating… maybe it is time to become a full time industry analyst a la Dave Kearns (congrats on the new post Dave).

Checks and Balances Exercise…

OK, let’s see how we fared:

1.     Prediction: Identity Administration Reaches Maturity

AssessmentUndecided.  I think this one was is tough to measure, but our empirical evidence, based on the increased traction of our own managed services is a good barometer to say that this one is on track, but more qualitative and external evidence will be needed to really assess it.

2.     Prediction: Access Governance becomes the Cutting Edge

Assessment: On target.  Overall, I think that this prediction was an easy call, since the trend has been in play for some time.  It is good to see it validated by some of the industry analysts; this claim is also based on the focus of most of our 2011 IAM implementation services engagements: access governance.

3.     Prediction: Strong Authentication Becomes Authentication

Assessment: On target.  If this issue was already top of mind, we now got the RSA SecurID security breach to talk about, and the subsequent hacker attack on Lockheed Martin tied to the RSA breach.  In healthcare, two-factor authentication is being considered as a requirement for Stage 2 of Meaningful Use, which will certainly continue to accelerate the pace of adoption of strong authentication in this sector.  Nishant Kaushik's recent blog post, referring this really interesting article by Brian Krebs, exposes, with a real-life example, the financial and legal implications of not applying the appropriate authentication strength and access management controls in the context of corporate online banking

4.     Prediction: The Emergence of Identity Brokers for Consumer Identities

Assessment: On target.  This prediction was particularly exciting for me given that I was involved in the National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace  (NSTIC) effort in 2010, leading to the announcement on April 15, 2011.  Despite its expected controversy, it is exciting to see the US Government take the initiative in this area.  I believe that this milestone is evidence that this prediction is on target.  Will PayPal be the first commercially available consumer identity broker?

Also worth noticing, is the announcement made on June 3rd that the Western Health Information Network (WHIN) will sponsor a pilot project to test how unique patient identifiers can increase patient control over their clinical information, involving the issuance of personal identifiers using the Voluntary Universal Healthcare Identifier (VUHID) system provided by Global Patient Identifiers, Inc. (GPII).  This is nice to see, particularly after a blog I posted last year featuring Barry Hieb that discussed patient identification (congratulations Barry, and best of luck with this pilot).  I view this as a great example of how identity brokers will enable digitalization of services.

So I will declare this prediction as being on track.

5.     Prediction: More Consolidation…

Assessment: On target.  Has anyone followed Quest Software’s recent acquisitions? They are proof of the consolidation trend I predicted in the marketplace this year.  I anticipate more consolidation occurring in the second half of this year.

6.     Prediction: Cloud Identity Starts Getting Crowded

Assessment: On target.  Gartner’s Gregg Kreizman published a research document titled: “IAMaaS Adoption Is Increasing”, which I will leverage as very strong enough evidence of this trend.

7.     Prediction: …And Some New Comers

Assessment: On target.  VMWare’s release of its foretold “Project Horizon” makes them both a new player in the identity space and a cloud identity vendor (supporting predictions 6 & 7– a double whammy!).  Intel also announced its entry into the identity space with their Cloud Access 360 offering, as well as with the acquisition of Nordic Edge, and some subsequent announcements which position them also as a cloud identity player (so they are evidence of predictions 5, 6 & 7 - a triple whammy then?).  So I claim that this prediction became true.

How did we fareSo, How Did We Fare?

6 of our 7 predictions were on target, and we have the second half of 2011 to see if we hit 7 out of 7.  Heck, maybe I should quit my day job and go beat the stock market – yeah right!

Your comments are most appreciated.


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Frank Villavicencio

Frank Villavicencio