Thursday, September 30, 2010

Anything you can do I can do better

During the past several years it has become a hobby of many to bash the Identity Management vendors, solutions, deployments, you name it. It is too expensive, it takes forever to deploy, eventually it provides limited coverage, it is not business aware, it is too complex, did I mention the price? As an Identity Management veteran I can admit that, despite the major consolidation the market experienced and the multibillion $$$ market, some of it (probably most of it) is kind of right…

Why is it any different from the natural evolution of other domains?

Sometimes you encounter a special phenomenon where:

1. The problem is well understood by everyone

2. It is a major problem

3. Every organization experiences it

4. And are willing to pay to resolve it (thus the market is defined as a multibillion $$$ market)

5. There are plenty of solutions out there

BUT NO EXPONENTIAL GROWTH for any of the vendors, wouldn’t you expect at least one to break away?

So why does it happen? Sometimes because the existing products’ coverage is limited, other cases it is too complex, too expensive, (basically most of the reasons previously described).

Those familiar with the domain knows that despite the white noise (of existing vendors) the market is anxiously awaiting someone to actually “do it better”, “be greater”, “sing louder”, “go higher”…

This month I’ve participated in a couple of events – VMWorld 2010 and Arcsight Protect 2010. While representing Cyber-Ark and discussing our PIM (Privileged Identity Management) technologies I had a chance to listen to what the hosting vendors had to say.

I’m happy to report that there are two new players stepping into the Identity Management space claiming to do it better. Meet VMWare (provisioning, self service and SSO) and Arcsight (IdentityView).

It is true both vendors are very cautious with their announcements (Arcsight – we only do monitoring, VMWare – it is only for synchronous provisioning and we only manage our systems), come-on…

What do you think, if VMWare customers ask to “simply integrate with a ticketing system for approvals” would they provide it? Or “can you open the platform for plug-ins to control other systems”?

How about Arcsight customers requesting to be able to do some remediation actions (such as disable a suspicious account) directly from their control panel?

I don’t know about you, but I think these guys are here to stay.

Another market that experiences a similar phenomenon is information protection (DLP and/or ERM and/or EIP …). The extent of this challenge is huge (i.e. a major major problem for all organizations) and the current products are straggling to solve this hairy problem. However products are simply too complex, limited and fail to pick up. If I had to predict I would say waves of innovation are expected, and only a different take will manage to lift this domain to the next level.

So if you are out there considering starting an information security start-up definitely look at this space, there’s alllllllllooooooooottttt to be done and it requires a fresh approach.


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