Still unsolved: The relationship between IAM, SOA, and BSM

29.02.2008 by Martin Kuppinger

In a, may be, simplistic view on IT there are three important pillars on the IT infrastructure level. Using the – sometimes improper – buzzwords, these are

  • Identity (and Access) Management (IAM)
  • SOA - in fact more the technologies for business processes and flexible applications, e.g. including BPM (Business Process Management)
  • BSM (Business Service Management), or ITSM (IT Service Management), or BTO (Business Technology Optimization), or however you will name what has been systems management and now, with a new layer on top, is something “entirely new”. I would say it claims to be something new but the layer on top is far from being mature.

You might claim that the Enterprise Systems are missing in that list. Yes, they are missing. No, they are in, because SOA or BPM are the way to use these systems in the future – have a look on the strategies of SAP with NetWeaver or Oracle with Fusion.

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IT costs – who has to know them, who wants to know them?

26.02.2008 by Martin Kuppinger

In the past I have several times published thoughts on the ERP for IT, and IT cost management (here and here…). Today I had a very interesting discussion with Econet, a german vendor which adresses IAM more from the process perspective and the ITSM (IT Service Management) area. During this discussion we came across the need for IT cost management and accounting – and to an interesting conclusion:

  • There is one group which isn’t really interested in the real IT costs: The customer of IT. The customer is interested in a fair, reliable, stable assignment of IT costs he can budget. But he isn’t interested in exact, always changing numbers.
  • There is another group which should be interested but in most cases isn’t: The IT management itself. They need to know the exact costs, assigned to services and the consumers of the services for planning, for the mentioned fair assignment, for improvement for IT. But most of the CIOs don’t really work on implementing a granular, service- and identity-based IT cost management, neither they have it in place.

 The obvious question is: Why don’t they act? The main reasons are

  1. complexity of the topic
  2. lack of tools
  3. lack of economical knowledge in IT management – most IT managers aren’t business but IT people and not all really understand controlling, accounting, and so on

But it inevitable to work on a service- and identity-based, granular IT accounting and cost management and a controlling because it is the basis for IT as a real business unit.

Today’s problem is that the ones who need exact IT costs are often not ready for it. And the ones who were ready don’t want to have exact but stable, fair cost assignments. But I’m sure that this will change within the next time.


HP – will they ever understand Software Business?

22.02.2008 by Martin Kuppinger

HP choose to not sell it’s Identity Management products any more. A surprise, for sure – at least at first look. On the other hand: HP had in 2006 revenues of 91,6 billion US$ – but only 1,3 bill US$ in software revenue. And that was a major increase, compared to 2005. With other words: HP is even today anything but a software company. Unlike Microsoft, CA, Oracle, it is first of all a box shipper, a hardware company. Even Services had only 17% of revenue in 2006 – compare it to IBM, and it is obvious that anything besides computers, printers, cameras is a pretty small part of their business.

Nevertheless I believe that the decision of HP is short-sighted. Identity Management is a growing business (By the way: Not being successful in significantly increasing markets is also a art of itself…). And Identity Management is relevant to HPs Security Service Business as well as to their BTO strategy. Besides this, HP has had some pretty interesting technical features especially around Federation. And they have some good guys in their Identity Business, to name Archie Reed and Jason Rouault.

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OpenID – finally set?

19.02.2008 by Martin Kuppinger

With the recent announcements of Yahoo to fully and Google to partially support OpenID and the now official engagement of IBM, Microsoft, Verisign, and other key players of the market in the OpenID Foundation it seems obvious that OpenID is now THE standard for user centric identity management.

I agree – partially. OpenID is A standard for user centric identity management which definitely will, with some advancements, will influence the way people act in the internet. But I’m, for example, convinced that it won’t replace Microsoft’s Infocards (as the technical basis). These two things are two different as well from the use cases as from their capabilities. There might be an OpenID 3.0 or something which in fact is sort of a combination of both. But there will be many things from the outside which influence today’s OpenID.

That’s, by the way, no surprise. Virtually any new standard started small and with limited capabilities and grew over time to a more complete, more sophisticated solution. While the original creator’s of OpenID will focus on ease of use, the new supporters will focus more on “sophistication”.

And the end there will be some OpenID which is much more secure and supports many more use cases than today’s standard – but which is as well a little more complex. But I’m convinced that it will be a major pillar for user-centric identity management over the next years. Together with CardSpace and it’s incarnations. By the way: We support Infocards at our website right now and OpenID and CardSpace will, for sure, be major topics at the European Identity Conference 2008, with speakers like Kim Cameron.


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